Now that his NBA career is over -- we were wondering ... what's gonna happen to Kobe Bryant's helicopter?
We did some digging -- here's what we found.
First off, Kobe doesn't own the chopper he's been using to get from his home in Orange County to Staples Center -- he rents it ... and has been for years.
But he's got a great relationship with the company that owns it -- and they've always dropped everything for Mamba when he's needed a lift.
In fact, he used it in 2010 to get to the Lakers championship parade -- and in 2012, he fired up the aircraft to help teammate Steve Blake get to a doctor's appointment on time.
Earlier this year, he used the helicopter as transportation for a romantic Valentine's Day afternoon with Vanessa.
Point is ... the end of Kobe's career doesn't mean the end of heli-travel -- it just means he'll be renting it out a lot less.