But Bryant revealed during the The HoopsHype Podcast with Alex Kennedy that Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers jokingly offered him a roster spot for the following season during the All-Star Game in 2016:
"I've known Bob Myers, the general manager of the Warriors, forever. Like, I remember the day he was going to go take his bar exam! We used to hang out together all the time. At my last All-Star Game, we had a chance to catch up. We were staying in the same hotel and I had a chance to tell him congratulations on everything. Then, he said, 'Hey listen, if there's any chance you want to change your mind and come back and play another year, you can always come over here [to Golden State].' But it's all tongue-in-cheek, man."
The Warriors, of course, ended up making a different free-agent signing that summer, bringing aboard Kevin Durant. That deal changed the course of the NBA and has led to two straight titles for the Warriors, so it's fair to say the summer of 2016 worked out perfectly for Golden State.
And Bryant's swan song was perfect, too, as he scored 60 points in his career finale against the Utah Jazz. After five titles, 18 All-Star appearances, two scoring championships and an MVP, Bryant exited the NBA on his terms with one of the most memorable regular-season and career finales imaginable.
And Bryant seems to be enjoying his post-basketball life. He won an Oscar for the animated short film Dear Basketball and has partnered with ESPN on the show Detail, in which he goes in-depth while breaking down individual players.
He told Kennedy he has no desire to play in Ice Cube's BIG3 league and isn't interested, at least at the moment, in returning to the NBA as an executive or coach.
"I mean, I'm really happy and I love what I'm doing right now," he said. "I love coming to the office every day and coming to the studio for writing and editing and building. I love assembling creatives and giving them the freedom to create. I love everything that I'm doing, so...no."