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Should Kobe Bryant Play Overseas After His NBA Career?

Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

Stephon Marbury has an idea for Kobe Bryant. While he didn’t talk to Jelly Bean Jr. directly, his idea made its way through social media and into the hearts of many a Kobe die-hard fan. Marbury thinks Bryant should play a season in China after his NBA career is over.

While there are a ton of reasons to think the idea is stupid, most of us are doing so with Bryant’s image in mind. We wouldn’t be thinking about it from his perspective. We want to remember him however it is that we want. His potential playing overseas would alter that for many of us. That said, keeping an open-mind about it isn’t horrible.

Wait. WAIT! Oh snap... you went too far.

Wait. WAIT! Oh snap… you went too far.

I’m not in the business of telling other people what to do with their life. Bryant can do what he wants, how he wants, when he wants, and I choose not to really care. His legacy is already cemented in the NBA, and if he so decides to play another season or two overseas, so be it. Good for him.

There’s good reason for him to do it if he wants. China isn’t his only option either, though. For sentimental reasons, Kobe Bryant can follow in his father’s footsteps and play some basketball in Italy. The country would surely go bonkers for their unofficial prodigal son’s return, but at the same time, there’s probably more money possibilities in China.

Either way, outside of in the terms of sports, Kobe Bryant is a relatively young man. A guy we know very little about other than his insatiable thirst to score as many buckets as his body allows. If Bryant realizes his days in the NBA are numbered, yet he honestly wants to continue playing, there’s nothing wrong with going to a lesser league to get that fix. There’re no health concerns for it. It wouldn’t be like a junkie getting a fix of cocaine after quitting the drug. It is just basketball.

Especially if he takes this guy with him. Could be his last great act for the Lakers.

Especially if he takes this guy with him. Could be his last great act for the Lakers.

I get that many will feel like t  would be beneath Bryant to play in a league other than the NBA, but he’d only feel that way if we made him think so. Bryant — sans his current run of apparently no longer giving a fudge — cares what we think about him. He wants his place in the history of basketball to be of importance. If Bryant feels like playing another season overseas does damage to his reputation, then he wouldn’t even entertain the notion of doing so.

Regardless, this was a truly outside-the-box idea by Marbury. To be fair to the messenger, though, Marbury has become a literal hero in China. They make statues of him, plays are made about him, and he’s a national star. Marbury’s star-crossed NBA career might be what most remember about him (that or his eating vaseline), but maybe it shouldn’t. His rebirth in a communist country should add to his own legacy.

Not that Kobe needs that sort of image-rebuild. While we currently like to joke about his flailing of his arms to attempt to get buckets, most of the sane people will remember that Bryant had a historically great NBA career. The type that very few players had or ones in the future will.

Whatever Kobe Bryant decides to do with his future is all cool beans. Whether that is play overseas, open up a Dunkin Donuts, or bother his immediate family by yelling them at randomly as if they were all Smush Parker, is all fine with me. He if he still has that itch, though, there’s been worse ideas in the world than scratching it by playing some more hoops — while, importantly, making millions — in a place not called the NBA.

Plus, you know, his wife might not want him around the house all that much. Can you imagine living with Kobe Bryant for your entire life? Too much intensity is flowing around in that guy to not want him to go to work every single day.

My personal suggestion to Kobe on the matter is for him to do whatever the heck he wants. Literally whatever he desires to do. As long as it is not murdering folks or committing other horrific acts, he can lace them up and play for the Nets next season…

Sorry, Brooklyn?

Sorry, Brooklyn?

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