Shaquille O'Neal said he thinks Kobe Bryant can return to basketball without being that great of a player.
Kobe Bryant has been retired since 2016 and his 60-point performance vs Utah Jazz in his last NBA game. Recently a lot of the media has been writing about a possible Kobe Bryant comeback especially now that LeBron James is their franchise player.
Shaquille O'Neal says his ex-teammate with whom he won 3 NBA championships, would return to the NBA before considering a move to the BIG3 which has become very popular among former players.
"He will never go to the BIG3 before he does the NBA," O'Neal said on his podcast, (H/T USA Today). "I’m just saying… Listen, everybody knows who Kobe is. You mean to tell me Kobe can’t give somebody a nice 15-20 minutes a game?"
"That’s all. If he came back at 40, the announcement would be the biggest sports announcement in history… He don’t even have to play great. Just come play 15-20 minutes a game as a Laker. And if they happen to do well, it would probably be one of the greatest stories in NBA history. Kobe likes stuff like that, that’s all I’m saying."
However, Bryant said on numerous occasions that he is now focused on success outside of the world of basketball. Bryant has been involved in different ventures which have already shown some potential.
"When I retired, everybody was saying, 'He’s too competitive. He’s not going to know what to do with himself. He’s going to have to come back.' I took that as a personal challenge of them thinking I’m this one-dimensional person," he said on the Rich Eisen Show last month. "That all I know is to dribble the ball, shoot the ball, play basketball and compete at that level."
"So I took that as a personal challenge. I will never come back to the game. Ever. I’m here to show people we (athletes) can do much more than that. And creating this business, winning an Oscar, and the Emmy and the Annie — those are things that are showing other athletes that come after, ‘No, no, there’s more to this thing.'"
Kobe's success translated even onto the movie scene where he won an Oscar for a short film under the name "Dear Basketball" which was even produced by Granity Studios where Bryant has an advisory role. Bryant is also involved in a very interesting project "Detail" where he partnered up with ESPN, to provide a very specific analysis of current and former NBA players.
photo by Keith Allison