Is this it for Kobe Bryant? Just might be.
Talking to SiriusXM NBA Radio on Thursday, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said that Bryant told him that the 2015-16 would be his last in purple and gold...and that most likely means final NBA season, period.
"He has indicated to me that this is it," Kupchak told the radio station, as reported by ESPN. "I think first and foremost, he's on the last year of a deal. There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don't think there will be."
Kupchak added: "A year from now, if there's something different to discuss, then it will be discussed then. I talk to him from time to time...and he is recovering. He's running. He's getting movement and strength in the shoulder. We expect a full recovery, but yeah, he's much closer to the end than to the beginning."
Bryant is scheduled to earn an NBA-high $25 million in 2015-16, his final contract year and 20th overall season. At 37 years old and coming off of his third straight season-ending injury — a torn rotator cuff being the latest — Bryant only played 35 games this past year.
If this is indeed Bryant's last season, he will be aided by the return of power forward Julius Randle and the Lakers having the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
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(Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)