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Kobe Bryant on watching NBA in retirement: Games are ‘too long’

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With only 11 games remaining on the schedule in the Los Angeles Lakers season, Kobe Bryant earlier this week addressed his impending retirement, including whether or not he intends to keep up on NBA action once he’s no longer playing the game.

“It’s difficult for me to actually watch an entire game from start to end because the game is just too long,” Bryant said, laughing, via ESPN’s Baxter Holmes. “It’s too long. I just can’t. It’s true, though. The game is like five hours. In terms of what I’ll be feeling emotionally, I don’t know. I think I’ll be at peace with that. I don’t think there will be an itch or anything like that. I’ll probably watch and talk to a lot of the players like I talk to them now. I think I’ll be fine.”

While games obviously don’t take “like five hours” as Bryant suggested, many critics of the NBA do take issue with the endless stoppages during a game, especially in the final few minutes due to all the timeouts.

Whether or not he’ll feel the lure to watch NBA games or not, Bryant insists he’s not saddened by his imminent retirement.

“It should be viewed as a great moment, I think,” he said. “It’s a celebration, really. It’s 20 years. I’m very fortunate to play 20 years. That’s a long time. The way I’ve always looked at it is, don’t be sad about it. Hopefully, throughout my career, you can take some of the attributes that I’ve had, like focus and things like that, and you can carry on whatever it is that you choose to do.”

Bryant said he will use that focus and occupy his soon-to-be-discovered free time with work.

“I’m incapable of taking a break,” he said Wednesday night. “I like working. I like being active. I like doing things. My mind has to be focused on something, has to be. So, no, I’ll be at work the next day.”

What “at work” actually entails is unclear, but Bryant has certainly set himself up for post-retirement success.

Via FOX Business:

Bryant parlayed endorsement deals with Nike Inc. (NKE), Chinese tech company Lenovo, Swiss watchmaker Hublot and Italian memorabilia company Panini into $26 million in off-court earnings in 2015 alone, according to Forbes. And he’s an equity investor in the sports drink BodyArmor through his eponymous company, Kobe Inc., which he founded in 2013.

Suffice to say, Bryant has no plans on slowing down in his retirement. Not even to take some time catching up on all the NBA action happening in his absence.