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Scott: No Kobe Bryant retirement talk

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Lakers coach Byron Scott said he's not surprised that Kobe Bryant has thought about retiring after this season even though he has one year remaining on his contract.

"I'm sure it's probably crossed his mind more than once, but we haven't talked about that one bit," Scott said after the Lakers' practice at their facility here Sunday.

"It's just game by game -- that's how we're going to approach it and then go from there. I think he'll probably tackle that issue once this season is all said and done."

Bryant recently told the Los Angeles Times that he has pondered retiring after the season.

"I'd be lying if I said that it hasn't crossed my mind,'' Bryant told the newspaper. "Right now I doubt it ... but anything's possible.''

The 36-year-old Bryant signed a two-year $48.5 million extension in 2013.

There have been times this season when he's admitted that he has considered playing beyond his contract, but, like his comments about retirement, he said he'll make those decisions in due time.

"When it comes, we'll deal with that situation, but right now, he's still here and he still plays as hard as anybody and he can still deliver, so we'll just deal with it when it comes," Scott said.

Scott also reflected on his own retirement from the NBA as a player, which came in the 1996-97 season when he was Lakers teammates with Bryant, who was then a rookie.

"It's a very hard decision to make," Scott said. "When you love the game as much as I did at that time, as much as I know he does, it's tough to say to yourself that it's over, that you've got to go onto something else. The realization sometimes sets in and you've got to kind of take it for what it's worth.

"My thought process basically was, I can't do this anymore. My body just can't react the way I want it to. My mind is still nice and sharp, but my body isn't doing what I want it to do. You just start thinking about other things in life that you want to do.

"You want to try to watch your kids grow up. At that time, I was 36. I had small kids, so I wanted to watch them grow up. But you also want to think about things that you want to do in your second life, your second career, and for me it was coaching."

Lakers guard Nick Young shook his head at the mention of Bryant possibly retiring.

"I know it's tough for him," Young said. "We don't realize what we have here with Kobe and when it's gone, it's over. Once it's gone, it's gone. You realize how great he really was and how fortunate we were to have him out there on the court."