Kobe Bryant may end his career in Europe
The five-time NBA champion, Kobe Bryant, may end his storied basketball career in the land where he grew up. Kobe Bryant could wind up playing the last leg of his career in Europe per a report from Slam online. Bryant grew up in Italy, speaks fluent Italian and Spanish.
“It would be natural for me to go do it. It wouldn’t be a stretch at all. I grew up here.”
It’s obvious that the NBA would want anything but to let Kobe Bryant’s image and marketability take it’s talents to Europe. Kobe has emerged as one of the NBA’s most recognizable and most globally sought after sports icons over the past decade and some change. No chance that the Lakers or the league would want Brant to end his career on anything but American soil.
“You’d have to look at the market and what’s going on in terms of the level of basketball being played,” Bryant said. “I understand there’s a high level of competitive basketball in Turkey now. They might have the best league in Europe. Spain has obviously been one of the top leagues for a long time. And Italy is a place that’s dear in my heart, I grew up there, but the level is not where it used to be. When I was growing up over there, that was the best league in Europe.”
The now 34 year old Bryant can look at his NBA accomplishments, especially if he catches Michael Jordan with a sixth ring, and see conquering Europe with his last few competitive gasps as the only logical next step. Kobe’s overall skill would last a lot longer in Europe where play isn’t dominated off sheer athleticism like it is in the NBA. Not to say that European ballers lack any athletic ability, but it’s clear that the NBA houses the most athletic mix that the basketball world has to offer.
I firmly believe that Kobe’s overall skill as a player would flourish in a European styled game. Even at 36 or 37, I feel like Black Mamba could really do some damage in a slower, more polished pace of hoops that Europe would ultimately offer Kobe in a potential home-coming.