When Bryant went down with his Achilles tear at the end of last season, no one knew what type of player he would return as, but everyone knew he’d return. Turns out, Kobe says the Achilles has fueled him to play at least three more seasons in the NBA. Here’s what he had to say via Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell:
I feel pretty damn confident I can be at a high level for at least another three years. I feel like how I was playing last year – I know I’ll be healthy and I’ll be ready to go this year – I know what I can bring. And I think I can easily do that for another three years. I think the (Achilles) injury has something to do with it. It really increased the drive. And probably San Antonio getting so close to winning No. 5, probably hurt me a little bit too. I want to make sure I push the ring count out a little further. It was really, really close there. They played phenomenally well. But it’s a testament to what skill can do. To what us old guys can do if you play together, if you play with one mind and one purpose you can accomplish great things. It was inspirational for me and hopefully inspirational for the city of Los Angeles and this organization of what we can do, how this tide can change fairly quickly and we’ll be looking at a parade.”
You can also watch the interview with Bryant here.
It’s pretty clear that Bryant wants to win that sixth ring to further cement his legacy in basketball history and he feels good enough now to give it another go.