Update: In a teaser trailer for ESPN's upcoming interview with Kobe Bryant, which you can view above, the Lakers shooting guard denies that he has decided to retire after next season.
"No, it's not true. It's not true," Bryant said of a previous report that he has decided next season will be his last. "It wouldn't be true to who I've been my entire career to do a farewell tour."
ESPN's entire interview with Bryant will air on Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Here's our original post from Friday on The Hollywood Reporter insisting Bryant had told them that he would retire after next season:
The Hollywood Reporter said Friday that Kobe Bryant has told the entertainment site that he will retire after his contract runs out at the end of the 2015-2016 season.
The site announced the supposed confirmation as part of a larger interview with the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard.
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak had previously said he expected the 36-year-old NBA superstar to retire after next season. Nevertheless, the timing of The Hollywood Reporter's announcement is odd.
Just this week, Bryant said in an interview with NBA.com that he hoped to have a career "rebirth" similar to what has occured with Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs in recent years. The Spurs are the current reigning champions of the NBA, having bested LeBron James and the Miami Heat last year.
"I can't say this is the end of my era because I thought [the San Antonio Spurs era] was done, and they're still there," Bryant said in his interview with NBA.com. "So I'm hoping I can have the same rebirth."