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Kobe to decide on NBA future before next season

04/02/2013 12:34 AM ET
By Matt Hughes

Kobe Bryant said he is leaning toward retiring after the 2013-14 season.(AP)
Kobe Bryant says he will decide on his NBA future before next season.

As reported by NBA.com, Bryant is leaning towards retiring after 2013-14, which would be his 18th season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant will reportedly make his decision before next season's training camp, and possibly much sooner.

Bryant cited the desire to give the Lakers clarity and to avoid endless questioning about his future as the reasons for the timing of his decision.

"We'll talk," Bryant said. "I'll talk to my family and stuff and really see if I want to continue to sacrifice as much as I'm sacrificing right now. I'm putting my body through a lot to just try to get ready to play every single night. To do what I'm doing right now, it's not easy. I'll tell you, it's taken a lot of commitment."

When asked if he felt like next season would be his last, Bryant added, "As I sit here right now, yeah."

When asked if there is anything the Lakers can do to get Bryant to extend his career beyond next season?

"No," Bryant added. "It's my decision. It's really about what I want to do, if I want to train and be psychotic with my training. That's what it comes down to. It's really how I'm feeling physically."

Bryant passed Wilt Chamberlain for fourth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list during the Lakers' victory over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. 

Follow Matt Hughes on Twitter: @hughesmatt

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