Kobe Bryant offers sage retirement advice to Peyton Manning
Kobe Bryant visited Colorado for the last time in his NBA career for Wednesday night’s tilt with the Denver Nuggets. And while a sore shoulder ended his night early as the Los Angeles Lakers icon sat for the entire second half in his team’s 117-107 loss, he was cheered and celebrated throughout the evening.
Given the locale and the fact that Bryant is on his glorified, season-long retirement tour, the subject of Peyton Manning and whether the soon-to-be 40-year-old quarterback should hang it up on a high note following a Super Bowl victory was brought up to the 37-year-old, soon-to-be retiree.
“I was very fortunate to be able to have that epiphany and feel very comfortable and at peace at it,” Bryant said, via The Denver Post. “If I was kind of teeter-tottering, I never would have announced it. I would still keep playing, because that means I’m not ready to let go yet.”
Manning apparently couldn’t be further away from that kind of epiphany given reports out of his camp, including quotes from his own agent, indicate the veteran signal-caller still hasn’t arrived at his decision concerning next season. Subsequent reports allege that Manning would like to continue playing and is exploring all his available options.
Bryant said Manning faces a “very personal decision, very emotional decision,” but no matter how the quarterback feels, he has to remember that “you can’t cheat the game.”
Bryant insisted he’s been a longtime fan of the Broncos quarterback and is happy Manning won another championship.
“I’ve followed Peyton’s process from Day One and how he prepares, and hopefully I can find something I can learn from,” Bryant said. “I couldn’t be any happier for him with how he performed this season, winning the Super Bowl when everyone said he was done.”
While Bryant wouldn’t come right out and say that Manning should retire, it certainly seems like he believes calling it quits fresh off a championship wouldn’t be a bad way to go out, a so-long swan song Bryant obviously will miss out on, that’s for sure.