Kobe Bryant is 37 years old and entering his 20th NBA season...but don't talk to him about retirement.
The five-time NBA champion isn't trying to hear any of that.
"If it is, it is," Bryant told ESPN during the Los Angeles Lakers media day on Monday. "If it isn't, I'll be ready for next season. I don't spend too much time thinking about it. I've got enough to think about."
Like making his way back from a third-consecutive season-ending injury after tearing his rotator cuff in January.
"I'm excited to be back on the court," Bryant said. "I'm excited to be out there with the young players who are starting their careers, starting their journeys. I'm excited to help them out and kind of show them things I've learned. I'm as excited for this season as I've been in a long time."
The Black Mamba is so concerned with preparing for this upcoming 2015-16 season that he hasn't even had the opportunity to decide what will factor in his eventual decision to retire when the time comes.
"Honestly, I don't know," Bryant said. "I've thought about it a little bit in terms of, what is the deciding factor? How do players actually know when it's time to hang them up, truly? Everybody kind of gives [the media] the standard cookie-cutter answers — relaxing, golfing, spending time with the family, things like that. But, really, how do you truly know? And I don't know. I'll have a much better answer when that time comes for me."
For now, Bryant and the Lakers will be looking to improve upon a 21-win season.
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(Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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