Kobe Bryant made headlines earlier in the NBA season when he announced that this would be his final year of playing basketball. Even before winning the Super Bowl, people were wondering about the retirement of Peyton Manning, who has yet to make an announcement regarding his future in the NFL. According to Sports Illustrated, Bryant offered some advice to Manning when it comes to deciding what he wants to do with his career.
According to Kobe Bryant, he had an epiphany early in the season, and it helped him come to peace with the decision to walk away from the NBA after two decades of playing basketball. The Philadelphia native has been doing this for more than half of his life. For years, Bryant was driven to win as many NBA Championships as Michael Jordan did with the Chicago Bulls, but he has now accepted the fact that he will fall just one title short.
Of course, the decision to walk away from the NBA might have been made easier for Kobe Bryant because of a couple of things. For starters, he has suffered several injuries over the last year, and it has taken a toll on him, both physically and mentally. Now that his daughters are older, the thought of physically being able to walk them down the aisle at their wedding surely must have crossed Bryant’s mind.
Another possible reason why Kobe Bryant decided to walk away from the National Basketball Association is the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers simply aren’t going to be able to compete for a championship anytime soon. The roster is filled with talented young players like D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, Jr., and Julius Randle. The Lakers are built to win in the future, but Bryant is a player that doesn’t have much time left.
Even though there are still some goals left to be accomplished, Kobe Bryant can walk away from the NBA with his head held high. His resume is outstanding, and there’s an argument to be made that he is one of the greatest players to ever step foot on a basketball court. The Los Angeles Lakers are a storied franchise with a ton of history, but Bryant was able to come in and surpass many of the legends that he grew up admiring.
If Peyton Manning decided to walk away from the NFL today, he can do so with his head held high. Aside from being the reigning Super Bowl champions, Manning has plenty of records and accomplishments on his resume. Some are already calling Peyton the greatest quarterback in the history of football, and it’s hard to argue against them. A spot in the NFL Hall of Fame is all but assured for the former Tennessee Volunteers star.
The advice from Kobe Bryant to Peyton Manning is for him to make the decision on his own. He should not listen to outside forces. Manning should also not make the decisions based on success or failure. Bryant is able to walk away from a final season where he is playing for a Los Angeles Lakers squad that is destined for the NBA Lottery. Manning, on the other hand, just defeated Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots and then beat the best team in the NFL (record-wise) in the Carolina Panthers to win his second Super Bowl, which ties the titles that his younger brother, Eli Manning, has won.
The decision to retire from something that you have viewed as a dream for years is a very personal and emotional one. Peyton Manning needs time to make a decision, and Kobe Bryant fully understands what his friend is going through.
[Featured Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]