No going back: Bryant not reconsidering retirement despite upturn in form

Kobe Bryant is not having second thoughts about retiring at the end of the season despite impressing in the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Denver Nuggets.

The shooting guard is set to retire after 20 years with the Lakers, but overcame a shoulder injury to hit 31 points and help his team rally from 21 behind and earn a 111-107 victory at the Pepsi Center.

When asked whether his recent displays had given him cause to reconsider calling it quits, the 37-year-old replied: “Zero. Not even an inkling.”

However, Bryant is pleased to have seen an improvement in his form and still feels capable of “controlling the game”, but believes he lacks the speed to get about the court.

“I’ve been here many times, you know my body is kind of used to it. There have been games where the first couple of minutes you’re just sucking air,” he continued.

“I just feel good. My legs feel fine. I feel like me. I feel like I can control the game, I feel like I can read everything. I can get to the spots I want to get to – not as quickly as I want to get to them, but I can get there.

“The hardest thing is to stay with it. Seriously, there’ve been games where I’ve just been kind of like: ‘What the hell?’

“Because I knew how hard I worked, I knew how many shots I took… there was nothing I could do.

“What I had to do was just stay with it. Just stay with it, just stay with it. And just trust that, eventually, it would catch up.”

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