KOBE Bryant intends to serve as mentor to young players when his colorful NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers comes to a close.
In a conference call with international media on Monday (Tuesday morning Manila time), a transcript of which was also given to Spin.ph, the Lakers superstar said he’s making himself available to become a teacherto the current crop of players once his 20-year journey as a pro is over by season’s end.
“I think I’ll always be around and not just from a Lakers’ standpoint but also just with the players around the league just to be a mentor, to continue to talk and help them out through things, and I’ve done that for a while now and I’ll continue to do that,” said Bryant.
Bryant is set to retire from basketball this season, ending a career that spanned two decades with the Lakers.
While he didn’t want a farewell tour for his final playing year with the Lakers, Bryant said he appreciated all the well-wishes from all the road games he has been a part of.
“It feels great, actually. I mean, you know, I don’t really consider it much of a tour. I think it -l ike the way it’s been going has been so beautiful. I mean just like I’m paying my respects to the fans and they’re doing the same in turn.
“I just think it’s just a beautiful moment that takes place. After 20 years of playing to be able to say thank you to them, and them to say thank you back, I couldn’t have imagined it any better than it is,” said Bryant.