Many NBA fans around the world are rejoicing and shocked at the same time as Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant announced on Thursday that he is cancelling his retirement. With only seven games remaining, Bryant said that his competitive nature got the best of him and decided to play again next season.
“I am excited to announce that I will not be retiring at the end of the season. I felt like I need to prove to myself and to everyone that I can still compete with the best players in the league. I will be returning for my 21st season and fans will see a much better ‘Mamba’ on the court,” Bryant said in the press conference.
He was joined by his family, some of his Lakers teammates and several front office executives during the announcement. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was very happy about the news and revealed that the team has already agreed to a new two-year deal with the 37-year-old superstar.
“In behalf of the entire organization, I am happy to re-sign the greatest Laker of all time, Kobe Bryant. Lakers fans should expect the team to be contenders for the next two seasons with Kobe on our team,” Kupchak said.
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According to league sources, the deal is reportedly worth around $50 million with the five-time NBA champion receiving $30 million next year and $20 million in 2018. The Lakers are also expected to trade D’Angelo Russell this offseason because the team would build around Bryant and Nick “Swaggy P” Young.
Kobe Bryant will likely have two more NBA titles and become the NBA all-time leading scorer before finally hanging it up at the end of the 2017-18 season. He is expected to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame right after his retirement via a special election and also, HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY!
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