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Kobe Bryant is watching games but doesn't miss playing

LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant admitted to watching a few games during the first week of the NBA season. But playing again? Not a chance. He doesn't miss it.

"Not even a little bit," Bryant said Tuesday morning at the launch of his latest signature Nike shoe, the "Kobe A.D."

"It's strange to think a couple years ago, to be in this emotional space would be unfathomable. But I mean not even a smidge, which I'm very thankful for, because it's made my transition seamless and I can really just watch and just enjoy the games."

Bryant said he has thrown himself into his new business ventures during the first six months of his retirement from the NBA, while at the same time embracing the reality of his "death" as a basketball player. He decided to launch this latest shoe on Dia de los Muertos, "Day of the Dead," in recognition of the transition stage he finds himself in, at age 38.

"What it means to me is the balance of both things," Bryant said of the Mexican holiday, which is also celebrated in Los Angeles. "You gotta be able to have the balance between the light and the dark. You've got to be able to have death in order to have life. It's finding the balance of both things and finding the beauty in both of those things."

Asked how closely he has followed the NBA -- in particular the incredible individual performances by Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard -- in the first week of the new season, Bryant said, "I've been following it. I wouldn't say closely, but if I'm home and I have a chance to put the game on, and I'm home, I'll put the game on. I kind of know generally who is winning and who is losing.

"Players have been playing phenomenally well, which is rare. Normally at the start of the season you kind of have to work yourself into a rhythm. This year they just came out of the gates smoking. That's rare."

He also has followed the efforts by NBA players like Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul, to use their platform to promote social justice.

"I think it's great. What I've tried to do on the back end of that is help the youth understand what those issues are," Bryant said. "What is the system that can help you understand what those issues are? It's one thing to say we need change, but what does that actually look like? What are the issues that we need to vote on and understand?"

When pressed on whether he would endorse a presidential candidate in the upcoming election, Bryant said, "I think we don't all have to randomly guess the side of the fence that I'm on. For those that support the opposite of what you believe my point of view should be -- and if you've known me for many years, I think you know which candidate I'm supporting -- then God bless you man. That's your point of view."