Entering Wednesday night's tilt against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center, Kobe Bryant has 39 games left in his professional career, as the Los Angeles Lakers icon plans to retire at the end of his 20th season this summer.
Until he reaches the end, the 37-year-old Bryant will, with the help of a slew of specialists, continue a meticulous daily routine to help prepare his oft-injured body for games and help it recover following them.
Even after the buzzer sounds on that final contest -- April 13 against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center -- Bryant still expects to continue a daily workout routine, he said Wednesday in a "SiriusXM NBA Radio" interview with host Jared Greenberg and former Lakers teammate Rick Fox.
"I'll continue to work out and I'll continue to stay in good shape," Bryant said. "It's important from a health perspective and also to maintain a schedule. I think to have a career end and then you feel like it would be fun and more free to be able to wake up and not have a schedule and things of that sort.
"I think if anything, I think that makes things more confusing for me. It's important to maintain a schedule and get up and continue to train at 6 a.m and then go about my daily routine that I ordinarily would in -- come into the office and working and do the things I want to do for the future. I think it's important to maintain that level of physical fitness because I think, if anything, it strengthens the mind as well."
With more free time on his hands, Bryant said he's interested in "skiing a little bit. I've never been skiing before. Maybe a do a little surfing maybe. Maybe a little skydiving."
Bryant recently announced that he has closed the door on participating in the 2016 Olympics, and he said that both Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski and USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told him that if he wanted to come down to Rio, "We obviously want to have you around."
Bryant added, "But my sentiment is -- and I told some of the players this as well -- if I'm retiring, my last game is in April. It's not, 'I'm going to retire now and come back and play for the Olympics.' This is the time I'm retiring. This is the time I'm walking away from the game. I'm ready to move on."
Bryant also said it's important for other young players to receive an opportunity.
"I don't want to take up one of those spots because, selfishly, I want to go out by winning a gold medal," he said.
In the meantime, has Bryant imagined putting on a Lakers uniform for a final time in his final game?
"A little bit. It's crazy because it seems to be coming up extremely quickly," Bryant said. "When I think about it, I kind of try to imagine what it's going to feel like. To this point, I've been feeling very smooth and very comfortable with my decision. I'm anticipating there's going to [be] a moment where, 'Dude, you're walking away from the game you've been playing since you were 2.' When is that moment going to hit and when is that moment going to sink in? And so as much as I can sit here and imagine what that last game is going to be like, I'm sure actually going through that experience will be completely different."