Sportress of Blogitude

Kobe Bryant implies he’ll pull a Keyser Soze when it’s time for his retirement


Kobe Bryant played the role of hobbled spectator during the weekend’s festivities surrounding the 2014 All-Star Game. While he was voted as a starter for the Western Conference, a knee injury that has kept him out since Dec. 17 prompted the announcement that James Harden would replace Kobe as starter.

Between a torn Achilles tendon that ended his season last year on April 12 until his return this season on Dec. 8, Kobe only has played in six games in over 10 months.

While Bryant says his recovery from knee injury has been “coming slowly,” he previously has stated he has every intent of returning this season.

“I’m optimistic coming out of the break that I will have some improvements once I get back to L.A. and do a couple [of] follow-ups and then go from there,” Bryant said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “But it’s been a slow process.”

Further, Kobe even is eying next season’s All-Star Game in New York and plans on being on the floor of Madison Square Garden — playing — during the annual superstar showcase.

“I hope so,” he said, quoted in a New York Daily News report. “It’s obviously a big goal of mine to be there. When you’re playing in the All-Star Game, it means you’re one of the best players in the world.”

But when talk turns to any discussion of retirement, in particular how and when he expects to announce that he’s reached the end of his NBA career, Bryant said he’s not sure, but said fanfare will not be necessary — nor wanted.

“I don’t know,” Bryant said before Sunday night’s All-Star Game, according to the New York Post. “I don’t know. I’m not … you know, personality, my personality is, I don’t really want the rocking chair before the game. It would drive me crazy.”

Bryant may be referring to the route taken by many retiring pro athletes, such as New York Yankees stars Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. Last season, Rivera had a season-long farewell tour and given the timing of Jeter’s announcement, one has to expect an equal amount of fanfare will accompany Jeter’s final season.

But for Kobe? He’s not interested in that kind of long, drawn-out and perceptively overindulgent sort of scene. Instead, it may be a case of “Now You See Him, Now You Don’t.”

“I’ll probably just pop up and vanish,” Kobe said, smiling.

Ah yes, the Keyser Soze method of retirement.

That’s one way of doing it.