The Los Angeles Lakers built a franchise around the great Kobe Bryant. Hence, the announcement of his decision to retire took the world by surprise. The move also signifies the end of an era for the NBA. The Black Mamba has been recognized as one of the most polarizing figures in the basketball community. His sheer passion and determination in the hardwood court pushed everyone around him to soar to greater heights. With his impending exit from the NBA though, what is in store for Bryant?
One of the widely speculated routes for Bryant is coaching. However, the Los Angeles Lakers star has yet to retract his comments on the suggested gig. According to sources, the Black Mamba described rumors of him coaching as the "funniest thing" thrown at him following his retirement announcement. While Bryant appears to be more than willing to serve as a mentor for the likes of D'Angelo Russell, Larry Nance, Jr and Julius Randle, it looks like coaching is out of the question.
"Will Kobe be a coach when he retires? 'Coaching, me? That's about the funniest thing I've ever heard,'" shared Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times via Twitter of his conversation with Bryant.
Another potential retirement plan for Bryant was crushed earlier this week. Following the release of the NBA stars included in Team USA for the 2016 Olympics, the Black Mamba declared his refusal to join. According to the Los Angeles Lakers star, the current NBA season will be the last time he'll play in the professional arena. Although he shared his enthusiasm over the opportunity, Bryant admitted that he will no longer take part in the said games.
"I think as beautiful as it would be to play for our country, when I say my last game is going to be my last game, I'm going to retire, then that's it," said Bryant of his decision not to join Team USA this year, according to ESPN. The Black Mamba added, "It's not like I'm going to walk off the stage and then [say], 'But I'm going to come right back for a minute. Hold on one second.' You know what I mean? I think it's pretty sweet to have the final game be in a Laker uniform and support the players from afar."
Bryant further shared that the team should focus on the young guys. Citing his two gold medals from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, the Los Angeles Lakers star feels that those are enough. However, he stated his willingness to extend his support to the younger generation who will take on the international arena soon.
"I've been fortunate enough to win two gold medals, so I've had my moment," the Black Mamba said. He added, "I think it's important for them to go ahead and play. I'll watch from afar, support from afar. If they want me to come down and speak to the guys, I will, but that's about it."
Meanwhile, the most probable venture of Bryant after his retirement is focusing on business. The Los Angeles Lakers star publicly revealed his new company, called Kobe Inc., in 2014. With it, he took on investments such as Body Armor. His retirement tour also benefited the company as the Kobe Inc filed for the trademarks related to his final games. These included the term "HeroVillain."