Kobe Bryant retired from the game of basketball last week in a breathtaking flurry, dropping 60 points on a beleaguered but resilient Utah Jazz team that had just found out before tip-off that it wouldn’t qualify for this year’s playoffs. It was Kobe’s points didn’t come in garbage time either. In fact, it was a combo of late jumpers and free throws that netted the Lakers their 17th and final victory of the year, a poetic ending to an otherwise drastic and tumultuous season.
Sure, Kobe will be missed from the court, the All-Star game, and the playo–ok, maybe not the playoffs–but according to a new report from TMZ, there’s a chance the game of basketball isn’t entirely sans-Mamba when it kicks off the 2016-2017 season.
TMZ Sports says they’ve learned that TNT’s Emmy Award-winning halftime, pre-game and post-game basketball talk show, Inside the NBA, has officially reached out to Kobe Bryant to see if he’d like to join the crew, which currently consists of Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley. The report goes on to state that it’s unclear whether or not Turner is aiming for Kobe to join the team during the current playoff stretch, or whether they’re eyeing the start of next season, but it may be a while before we find out. Kobe hasn’t given any indication, at least publicly, of what his post-career plans are. They may involve staying away from the game completely and spending time with his family.
Only time will tell whether or not Mamba is truly out.