LA Lakers Rumors: Kobe Bryant Close To Retirement With Lakers Struggles?

LA Lakers rumors about Kobe Bryant retiring have surfaced again. The Lakers rumors about Bryant have persisted for months, but his continued struggles could mean retirement is on the horizon. The Lakers played the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, November 25, and the results were very ugly.

After getting out-scored 30-11 in the first quarter alone, the Lakers lost 111-77, finding no answer for the first or second unit of the Warriors. Bryant played just about 25 minutes, going just 1-for-14 from the field. Bryant was also just 1-for-7 from three-point range. It continued a terrible start for his 2015-16 NBA season.

With this loss, the LA Lakers dropped to 2-12 in the updated NBA standings. That’s the second-worst record in the entire NBA, with the Lakers only ahead of the winless Philadelphia 76ers. The 0-15 76ers seem to be on a mission to tank another season, raising some serious questions about what the Lakers are doing. There are no shortage of LA Lakers rumors suggesting the team is tanking to select LSU product Ben Simmons with the first overall pick. Only the NBA Lottery stands in the way of that possibly happening this season.

Kobe Bryant And Klay Thompson [Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]Through 11 games this season, Kobe Bryant is averaging just over 30 minutes a night. He is putting up 15.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists a night as well. Those aren’t horrible numbers for a reserve player, but Bryant is taking too many shots to be considered a role player. Averaging 16.4 shots per game, Bryant is shooting just 31.1 percent from the field. He is also at just 19.5 percent from three-point range.

On Tuesday night, it became very obvious that Bryant is hurting the Lakers with so many three-point shots. He is at the highest rate of his entire NBA career, with 7.0 three-point attempts per game. He is also shooting at one of the lowest percentages of his NBA career, showing that Bryant might need to pass up one or two of those shots to help out the team. Against the Warriors, he even shot three air balls from three-point range. Those are shots that don’t hit the backboard, rim, or net after getting released.

In addition to his terrible play this season, the LA Lakers are paying Kobe Bryant $25 million. That could be a reason why Bryant hasn’t retired yet, and what Lakers fan could blame him for playing out the contract. If Bryant were to retire immediately, he wouldn’t make the $25 million that the Lakers front office decided to give him. It would be tough for anyone to walk away from a salary that large, but his performance on the court is certainly going to hurt his legacy a bit.

Byron Scott Looks For Answers With LA Lakers [Photo by Harry How/Getty Images]Lakers head coach Byron Scott cannot shirk the blame that is going around, either. Scott could decide that the best way for Bryant to help the Lakers is to come off the bench. That double standard has also been the source of numerous LA Lakers rumors, with Scott allowing Bryant to do things on the court that he wouldn’t allow younger players to do. There aren’t a lot of players in NBA history that have been allowed to attempt seven three-pointers a game, let alone one shooting just 19.5 percent from that range.

After coaching the Lakers to a 21-61 record (25.6 win percentage) in the 2014-15 NBA season, Byron Scott has the Lakers playing even worse this season (2-12, 14.3 percent). It’s possible that the front office is also giving him too much leeway when dealing with Kobe Bryant, but the pair has the Lakers in a tailspin that might take a while to recover from. There are certainly going to be more LA Lakers rumors in the short-term, including how the team should try to trade Bryant in order to really get the rebuilding started. But does Bryant have value to any team other than the Lakers?

[Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]