NBA rumors have Shaquille O’Neal saying that Kobe Bryant shouldn’t retire after this season. The rumors come from a public debate that O’Neal and fellow NBA analyst Charles Barkley have been having about Bryant’s future. A report from CBS Sports on Sunday, September 20, relayed the opinions of one current Hall of Fame player and one that will certainly join him in the near future.
Barkley retired when he was 36 years old after struggling to stay healthy for the Houston Rockets over four seasons. He stayed in the league to try to win titles with a very talented roster in Houston. Shaq stayed in the league a bit longer, retiring at the age of 38 after playing a season each with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. He too was hanging around to try to get another NBA title with two very talented teams. Shaq seems to speak from experience when he talks about Bryant.
“If you still got something, you should go because once it’s done you can’t get it back. If I hadn’t got hurt I would have went on and played my last season to try and break Wilt Chamberlain’s scoring record.”
NBA rumors about Kobe Bryant have certainly referenced how close he is to several records. In 19 seasons, Bryant is now third all-time in scoring, with 32,482 career points. He trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928) to take over as the all-time scoring leader. An interesting coincidence is that all three players have been members of the LA Lakers.
Another record that Bryant may be interested in pushing further is that he has made more money in salary than anyone in NBA history. Through the 2014-15 NBA season, he has made just over $303.2 million. He is slated to make an additional $25 million during the 2015-16 season before his current contract comes to an end. Lakers owner Jerry Buss has also hinted that he would want Bryant to return after this current season and to play for as long as he wants to be on the roster.
Kobe Bryant has yet to actually say that the upcoming NBA season will be his last, leading to a lot of debate and discussion among analysts. It will continue into the regular season, and based on whether the LA Lakers do well in the early going, there could be many more NBA rumors about his future in the league. With just under 6,000 points left before he is anointed the all-time leading scorer, Bryant would need to average about 24 points a game for the next three years just to tie Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
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