ESPN.com news services
Bryant acknowledged that he is unsure whether he can return from his latest season-ending injury during his interview with NBA TV.
I can’t say it is the end. I thought the Spurs were done 20 years ago. Those guys are still winning. So, to answer the question, I can’t say this is the end of my era because I thought their (era) was done and they’re still there. So I’m hoping I can have the same rebirth.
– Kobe Bryant, during interview
with NBA TV
But the Los Angeles Lakers superstar was adamant that he doesn’t plan to retire, especially after watching the veteran-laden Spurs win a fifth NBA championship under coach Gregg Popovich last season.
“I can’t say it is the end,” Bryant said during the interview, which will be aired by NBA TV on Monday night. “I thought the Spurs were done 20 years ago. Those guys are still winning.
“So, to answer the question, I can’t say this is the end of my era because I thought their (era) was done and they’re still there. So I’m hoping I can have the same rebirth.”
At one point during the interview, titled “Kobe: The Interview,” the 36-year-old Bryant was asked what drives him to come back.
“The process of it. I want to see if I can. I don’t know if I can. I want to find out. I want to see,” Bryant said. “What I’m going to do is do what I always do: I’m going to break everything down to its smallest form, smallest detail, and go after it day by day. Just one day at a time.”
Bryant is recovering from season-ending surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. The 17-time All-Star appeared in just six games last season while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.
Bryant is the NBA’s highest-paid player at $23.5 million this season. He is under contract for $25 million next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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