But it remains unclear if Bryant, who will be 37 when next season begins, will want to play beyond that, even though Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has said Bryant has indicated next season will be his last with the team.
“It might be,” Bryant said Saturday during an interview with ESPN's Jemele Hill at the BET Experience at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
“You gotta retire sometime," he said. "I’m not Benjamin Button, man.”
Bryant said he has yet to make a decision about his future in the NBA beyond 2015-16.
“At the end of the season, if I feel like going through this again and doing it all over again, I will. If I feel like, I don’t, I won’t,” he said. “I won’t make a big deal about it or whatever. I’ll be ready to move on. I’ll be ready to do something else.
“I’ll be ready to take on that challenge and try to show athletes, listen, we are more than this. I think that’s the challenge that I’m ready to take on too. It’s like, we can do more than play basketball. We can do more than simply sit here and be puppets for brands and for an industry and this, that and the other. We can build our own s--t. When that time comes, I’ll be ready to do that.”
What will a retired Kobe Bryant do?
“Work,” he said. “I love the concept of storytelling. I love inspiring. I love trying to help people reach their full potential ... I think there’s a myriad of businesses where storytelling can then connect to because it’s all centered around that ... It’s all storytelling.”