L.A. Lakers Rumors: Kobe Bryant To Play Past 2015-16 NBA Season, Not Retire From Lakers?

L.A. Lakers rumors suggest Kobe Bryant may not be ready to retire from the NBA. These L.A. Lakers rumors come from part-owner Jim Buss, who made some interesting remarks when asked about Bryant returning after the 2015-16 NBA season. A report from the Los Angeles Times has Buss saying that it isn’t his decision whether Bryant wants to return. He is leaving it up to the highest-paid player in the NBA to decide how the situation will play out and whether this coming season is his last.

“We’re going to approach it like it is, but that doesn’t mean it is. I’m not going to sit there and say, ‘This is it, Kobe, you’re done,’ because it’s not my decision, it’s his decision. The man has done so much for the Lakers and the fans of the Laker nation, he deserves the money. I don’t understand anybody trying to break down what I did for him. Let’s break down what he did for us, then say, what is he worth? To me, he’s worth that.”

Many fans would also agree with Jim Buss on the contributions Kobe Bryant has made to the franchise, but is he really worth $25 million a year still? Many L.A. Lakers rumors have already addressed that salary this past NBA offseason, as it has kept the franchise from pursuing other big names in free agency. It is the final season of his current deal, and despite playing only 41 of 164 games over the past two years, he will make a higher salary than any other player in the league.

The preseason will soon begin for the Lakers and allow fans to see what the new roster can do on the court. With key additions like D’Angelo Russell and Roy Hibbert the team is certainly much-improved. Julius Randle will also be healthy again, working his way back from an injury that ended his rookie season far too early. There has even been chatter that Bryant is finally close to being healthy for the first time in several years, giving the roster a lot of potential depth for the 2015-16 NBA season. Team success could even convince Bryant to hang around another season.

There are likely to be a lot of discussions about what the front office in Los Angeles should do if the Lakers get off to a slow start. Future L.A. Lakers rumors will definitely include reports of how the team could benefit by trading Kobe Bryant during the regular season. It doesn’t sound like that is something Jim Buss wants to entertain, though, and reports that he is the president of the Bryant fan club have not been confirmed.

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