Sportress of Blogitude

Kobe Bryant says he hasn’t played basketball since his retirement

Kobe Bryant left basketball behind after his celebrated retirement following the 2015-16 NBA season, at least as it relates to actually playing the game.

Bryant claimed as much during a recent interview Yahoo’s Shams Charania, which came after the Los Angeles Lakers icon was honored with a ceremony earlier this week when both his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys were retired by the organization.

“Nah, I don’t need to keep my competitive juices flowing,” Bryant told Charania, as transcribed by Dime Mag. “It’s kind of like a myth when you have an athlete who’s done something awesome in their career and you feel like ultra competitive and you need something to move that, too. I don’t have that, to be honest with you. I don’t have that.

“And I think it’s because, when I played was I competitive? Yeah. But the thing that was most exciting was how to put the pieces of the puzzle together. That was more exciting to me, it wasn’t the end result.”

The notion that a man who has lived and breathed basketball for almost his entire life could just walk away from competition on the court may seem like a stretch. But Bryant has immersed himself in numerous other endeavors post-retirement, especially related to expanding his burgeoning business empire. Perhaps that’s how he keeps his “competitive juices” flowing at this point in his life.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Bryant will never hop back on the court again. It just hasn’t yet. After all, Bryant insisted earlier this year he doesn’t miss playing basketball at all. That appears to still be the case.