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Kobe Bryant hints about life after basketball

February 23, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Kobe Bryant puts up a shot as forward Nicolas Batum defends during the first half of the Lakers' matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
Kobe Bryant puts up a shot as forward Nicolas Batum defends during the first… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

Kobe Bryant has one more year left on his contract after this season. While he hasn't said outright if he'll continue his career beyond the 2013-14 season, he did talk about life after basketball Friday night.

"I think finding the area before you retire ... I think that's really the biggest challenge for any athlete is to find something that you really want to do," said Bryant. "A lot of us wait until the last year until you retire trying to figure that out, then it takes five or whatever years and some never figure it out."

Bryant is currently in his 17th season. He'll turn 35 in August.

"I'll be 35-36 years old," said Bryant, perhaps giving a hint to his plans. "I'll need to find something that I can obsess about."

Bryant admitted that he has an "obsessive personality" and that he'd need to "find something to put my ego into."

Could that drive keep him in the game longer?

"I have the gift and the curse of having gone second, so I can sit back and learn from my predecessor," said Bryant, referring to Michael Jordan, who retired twice from basketball before finishing his career on the court with the Washington Wizards.

Bryant said he has an idea of what he wants to do after his playing days, although he wouldn't share.

"Yeah, I know what it is," he said. "It takes away from my personal challenge and you guys will criticize if I can do it or not."

While he'll continue his work as a philanthropist, Bryant said that's not enough.

"Besides doing things that are humanitarian efforts, you've got to find -- you have to have a job," he said.

Bryant downplayed some of the possibilities, including playing baseball, becoming a commentator or buying a struggling NBA franchise.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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