Following rumors Kobe Bryant could come out of retirement to play on the Lakers, Matt Barnes has given his thoughts on the matter.
So, this is a thing. And it has a lot of people talking. Kobe Bryant coming out of retirement to play with LeBron James on the Lakers.
The NBA offseason, as usual, is full of excitement. It’s quite amazing that a professional league has found a way to keep a fan base of viewers interested even when there are no games being played in its regular season stretch. How? Well, the summer league games have become something of sport and to watch, and then there’s free agency.
What the NBA does differently from other professional sports leagues is that they galvanized the role of their players and provided a path for players to be in control of their own fates to a certain extent. As a result, free agency has become something to watch as your favorite players are able to take their talents anywhere and to any team that can afford them. A surprising element to the free agency equation is that sometimes, players opt to go play with other players, a joining of forces if you will, for less money, just to win. This is the state of the NBA, and most would argue that it’s quite entertaining.
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But the entertainment doesn’t stop with summer league play and free agency. Sometimes, there are other “surprises” and speculations. This summer, in lieu of the Los Angeles Lakers signing LeBron James to a lucrative four year $154 million dollar deal and then adding veteran players such as Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson around him to mix with the already young Laker cast, the idea that Kobe Bryant may come out of retirement to join them is being bandied around.
Matt Barnes spoke out about this when asked by TMZ Sports, “I think that’d be dope. Don’t know if it will happen, but it would be dope.”
Kobe Bryant coming out of retirement to play on this LeBron led Laker team “would be dope” seems to be the popular sentiment. However, realism must come into play and what has to be considered in all of this speculation and possible well-wishing is that Bryant is turning 40 very soon and he is already deep into another business—the entertainment industry—where he has already won an Oscar for his basketball short.
However, the argument for Bryant coming back has some validity and honestly could go both ways when it comes to the sides of the argument. For one, it’s been done before and by Michael Jordan himself, someone whom Bryant has patterned his game and career off of and admired, garnering the “who’s the real G.O.A.T.” debate. Bryant coming out of retirement, like Jordan, to help LeBron win another ring and himself (Bryant) get another ring (his sixth, which would tie Jordan and be one more than Magic Johnson as a Laker) would undoubtedly give more credence to his candidacy as the true G.O.A.T. Also, Bryant would be doing something that Jordan was not able to do when he returned to the Wizards if he was actually able to win another championship. Last, Bryant would be helping LeBron take down a Golden State Warriors team that seems to be unstoppable.
Bryant, much like Jordan in this regard to competitiveness, would be accepting a challenge that seems to be almost impossible for King James to overcome himself. To sum it all up, if Kobe Bryant did return, it would just be amazing to see, something that the NBA is just really great at these days — during the regular season and the offseason.