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Is Kobe Bryant coming out of retirement in 2019 to play with LeBron and the Lakers?

kobe bryant during a jersey retirement press conference
A report online is claiming Kobe Bryant is returning to play in the NBA — but is he? Pic credit: Lakers Nation/YouTube

Every season since Kobe Bryant has retired, plenty of fans have been begging for his comeback. So far, Kobe has seemed content with his retirement, though, and is enjoying life after basketball.

That includes spending more time with his family and on other ventures including businesses, books, and movies. However, a story is going around suggesting he’s making a comeback to the NBA. So is Kobe Bryant coming out of retirement in 2019 to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles?

Kobe Bryant’s retirement situation has him busy

Kobe Bryant officially retired after the 2015-16 NBA season, which was several seasons before LeBron arrived to the Lakers. It was a 19-year career for one of the NBA’s all-time greats. He ended up with five NBA titles with Los Angeles, multiple All-Star appearances, as well as plenty of other awards and achievements.

According to Basketball-Reference, his career numbers included 33,643 points along with 7,047 rebounds and 6,306 assists. Some believe he’s amongst the best players all-time. Others may not even include him in their top 10 list, but there’s no arguing he was one of the greatest scorers in league history.

Since retiring, Kobe hasn’t slowed down necessarily. While he might not be out playing pickup basketball games all day, he’s turned his attention to other endeavors. That includes a recent book for kids which is like a Harry Potter meets sports fantasy adventure.

As seen above, Kobe’s book achieved success by hitting the No. 1 spot on the New York Times. That has him inspired to create more stories for readers to enjoy.

That’s not all that Kobe’s been involved in either. He won an Oscar for a basketball-themed movie. In addition, he’s investing in various business projects. Bryant seems to be content with those things. He spoke about life after basketball on MTV’s Ridiculousness.

Kobe also has a wife and kids to worry about during retirement. He and wife Vaness recently welcomed another child, a baby girl named Capri Kobe Bryant.

Even so, there’s often a burning itch for professional athletes to return to the game they love after retiring. Michael Jordan had to try to come back to the league when he was near 40 to save the Washington Wizards.

While it wasn’t the best of attempts, it was clear that MJ missed the game. Kobe is often compared to Jordan in the sense they both loved to humiliate opponents and “go for the jugular.”

So a return to basketball could be a lingering thought in Kobe’s mind. He mentioned he thinks about basketball often during a Rich Eisen interview. Does he need to team up with LeBron to save the Lakers, though?

Is Kobe Bryant coming back to play for the Lakers?

A report has surfaced online via Total Sports indicating that Kobe Bryant will join LeBron James and Anthony Davis to form a Lakers “Big 3.” However, this report appears to be unconfirmed, and completely fabricated. It has two tweets which don’t appear online but are shown as originating from ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski and the Los Angeles Lakers.

There is no official word from the Los Angeles Lakers about Kobe coming back or returning. There are also no reports from the likes of major sports sources including ESPN, Bleacher Report, or the NBA. Rumors always pop up, but it’s been all fan speculation or analysts’ hot takes.

If Kobe Bryant comes out of retirement to return to the league it would certainly send shockwaves across the internet and through the NBA. Players, fans, and analysts would be tweeting, sharing, and talking about the news on social media. That’s not the case.

Lakers fans should still be content. The fact that the team has LeBron James and Anthony Davis is already great. There’s also the potential for the addition of recent NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard too. So even without Kobe Bryant returning to the Lakers, they’re looking pretty good for the upcoming NBA season.

It’s worth noting that BIG 3 founder Ice Cube joked that he keeps pestering Kobe to join his 3-on-3 league for older, retired stars. So there’s always that possibility too.

Matt Couden is a freelance writer for over 10 years. Matt enjoys publishing mostly about the things he loves — entertainment, sports news, and video... read more
Matt Couden

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