<
>

Kobe Bryant plans to play in final 9 games barring 'something drastic'

LOS ANGELES -- Nine games remain in Kobe Bryant's 20-season NBA career, and the Los Angeles Lakers star plans to play every one of them.

"Yes, unless something drastic happens, God forbid," Bryant said Sunday after his team's 101-88 loss to the Washington Wizards at Staples Center.

"It's pretty crazy to think. I've got four home games left? That's kind of crazy," Bryant said. "I didn't realize that until right before tipoff -- five home games left, and now it's four. That's pretty crazy."

The 37-year-old Bryant has missed 16 of his team's 73 games this season, often sitting out to rest or because of his injury woes, such as a sore right shoulder or a sore right Achilles.

Bryant has missed more home games than road games, as he tries to play in road venues that he won't visit again. For instance, he plans to play Monday against the Utah Jazz in what will be his final game in Salt Lake City.

"I've had a lot of memories there," Bryant said. "I got beat up a lot there, won a lot there. It's always been one of my favorite places to play because the crowd is just sitting right on top of you. It's one of those last arenas where you can really feel the noise. It's pretty surreal that it's going to be the last time there."