Kobe Bryant quietly slipped from the public eye following his retirement in April. After playing his last game in a 60-point, 50-shot win over the Jazz, Bryant has only surfaced sporadically, like Big Foot, only if Big Foot were on a reality TV show for 19 years and then randomly walked across kids television award shows. He announced that he and his wife were having a third daughter, he was slimed at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards show, he has appeared here and there.

He did stop by the Time Warner Sportsnet Studios on Tuesday and spoke with long-time Lakers reporter Mike Bresnahan. Here are the highlights:

1. Kobe has a beard!
Bryant said that he can’t use “Fear the Beard” so he’s just referring to it as the “Retired Caveman look.” It doesn’t look bad. Now. If he keeps growing it, in about five weeks he’s going to start to resemble “mad genius” before falling into “extra from post-apocalyptic horror film” territory. Right now, he just looks distinguished.

Kobe Bryant with a beard and sunglasses wearing a gray jacket

2. Bryant has no desire to come back, yet

Even watching Team USA struggle, he said he’s not itching to come back. There were no cryptic comments about a potential comeback, which is good. If he were already reaching that point, it would be a bad sign. He’ll no doubt start missing the game sometime in the winter, and will probably really be itchy when the playoffs begin, but then, it has been a while since the Lakers played in those anyway.

3. He’s not worried about Team USA

Bryant said all the right things about Team USA, that the competition is tough. “It’s a global game, now, so it’s going to be tough.” Bryant said he has been counseling Harrison Barnes and Kyrie Irving, but he also said “they’ll be fine.”

4. He talks about the future of the Lakers

Bryant interestingly said the young players will benefit by playing together, and that Luke Walton will have them play “the right way.” He also said the foundation won’t be “isolation ball.” Which is, you know, kind of funny that he calls that championship basketball given that Bryant was known for breaking sets to isolate, like Michael Jordan before him.

5. He plans to be around

Bryant said he plans to stop by the Lakers facility and is willing to come by and work out with the young players. “I’m always around,” Bryant said.

6. He got gold slime in his rear

“It gets everywhere,” Bryant said. “I was getting gold out of my ass for two days,” he said with a chuckle.

Courtesy: CBS Sports


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