Lakers rumors: Kobe Bryant could play beyond current contract

There has been speculation for some time that Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant could retire as early as after next season. His recent injury certainly heightened those conversations, but during a recent interview with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN Radio the All-Star hinted that he could play beyond his expiring contract.

In response to a question about the possibility of San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan tying him with five NBA titles, this is what Bryant had to say:
"My goal is to win more than five," said Bryant. "If he does win five, hopefully that pushes our organization upstairs to be even more determined and more driven to make the necessary expenses to make sure we continue the next year and the year after that."
Bryant is owed $30.5 million next year, and it would be hard to imagine the Lakers paying him something close to that amount if he wishes to continue beyond the 2013-14 campaign. A lot has yet to be determined, as Bryant will have to prove he’s still able to play at a high level following his Achilles injury.

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