Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant wants to win at least two more NBA championships to bring his total to seven or more.
That surpasses the six NBA crowns won by Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan, to whom he has been frequently compared with.
Bryant and Derek Fisher lead all active players with five NBA titles, with the Spurs’ Tim Duncan in the position to tie them if the Spurs beat the Heat in this year’s Finals.
NBA fans were left with the impression Friday that Bryant would retire after next season when he selected “The Last Chapter” as the slogan that best represents his comeback from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
It made comparisons with Phil Jackson’s “The Last Stand” quote, when the coaching great decided to return for his final season with the Lakers in 2010-11.
On the contrary, Bryant wants to be back next season with a vengeance. But he has publicly maintained that he will play only while he’s able to perform at an elite level. At 34 and still in the early stages of recovery from his Achilles tendon injury, Bryant wants to take his time to heal.
The Lakers are planning to open extension talks with Bryant, who is under contract for one more year, as soon as it was allowed to under NBA rules. The team shares Bryant’s desire to retire as a Laker.
While it would be difficult for the Lakers to bring Bryant back at his current salary of $30 million a year with the new salary-cap restrictions, it is determined to give Bryant the respect befitting his contributions to the franchise.