While there he was asked the one question that everyone would love to know the answer to. When is Kobe Bryant going to hang it up for good?
The injury would have been a good excuse to go ahead and do it, but no one likes to go out like that. Besides with all the 'coaching' he did over Twitter it's pretty clear the man wants back in the game. He's talked about wanting to have two more shots at the Finals, but fans might like what he said on a Brazilian television program:
[Unless you speak Portuguese I would recommend jumping to the 2:32 mark.]
Three to four more years.
He will be 35 prior to next season and he has played for 17 seasons already. That's a pretty full career, but if his knees can hold out it would not be impossible.
Any player that has been in the game as long as he has is going to be dealing with wear and tear issues. Kevin Garnett is 38 and still playing, but he hasn't played a full season since back in his Minnesota days.
So it can happen. The key is just being smart about it and doing what he can to take care of his body (which fans are already well aware that he does.
The only question here is whether he will be able to stay motivated if the Lakers do not improve. When he has referred to how long he would play in the past it was never in years but in chances to chase the title. He wants to win, but it is unclear whether the current group on the Lakers is capable of doing that.
Should they lose Dwight Howard in free agency? Forget about it!
At that point, as beloved as he is by his city and team does it make sense to keep a $30 million (or whatever Kobe gets paid) player on the roster for a mediocre or losing team? The Boston Celtics just traded away the rights to their coach because the front office doesn't think the team will be good enough to compete and warrant a $7 million/yr coach.
It would be gut-wrenching and totally heart-breaking, but he wouldn't be the first favorite son to be let go (should worse come to worse).