A few days ago, the information about Kobe Bryant’s possible retirement was nothing but rumors. Today, we have an official confirmation from both world famous basketball player and the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant announced that the current season is the last in his professional basketball career on Sunday, Nov. 29, after the sixth consecutive loss of the Los Angeles Lakers, this time—to Pacers. The Lakers lost with a 107-103 score.
It was an internal decision
Despite the six unsuccessful performances in a row, Kobe Bryant said that the decision was made a long time ago. Moreover, the star guard insists that the move was based not on the outside reasons, but on the internal decision instead. While speaking to the media, Kobe said that he finally “decided to accept” that he cannot play as he used to in the previous seasons.
Meanwhile, there were lots of the outside circumstances that may have led to that decision. Kobe Bryant’s latest injuries were the most significant and influential reason for him to think about ending the NBA career. Over only the past two seasons, he missed 123 of 164 possible games because of his recent injuries.
His personal scores are not perfect, too. This season, Kobe Bryant has shown his worse shooting percentage—31,5 percent. Moreover, he has the lowest percentage in the league in both field goals and 3-point shootings.
His star will continue to shine
Despite the recent announcement of his retirement, Kobe Bryant remains one of the brightest star players in the NBA history. Now, his two-year deal with the Lakers approaches its end. According to this agreement, Bryant receives a $25 million payment per year. This deal makes the Lakers’ star guard the highest-paid player in the NBA, at least for the current season.
Kobe Bryant set a lot of the records during his professional career, both individually and with the team. One of Bryant’s most significant achievements is his cooperation with the Lakers. Furthermore, he is the only NBA player who spent 20 consecutive seasons with one team. It means that he spent all the 20 years of his professional career wearing the Lakers’ golden-red jersey.
Kobe Bryant has five NBA champion titles that he won while playing for the Lakers. In 2008, the star guard was named the MVP of the league. As for his personal records, two are the most important—his all-time scoring list and his best one-game scoring. For now, Kobe Bryant has the third highest result on the all-time scoring in the NBA history, and the best all-time score in the Lakers history. Back in 2006, Bryant earned 81 points within one game, which is the second-best result in the NBA history. The only man to show a better result was Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 100 points during one game.
Bryant, who has already got two Olympic gold medals, now has a chance to win the third Olympic medal at the upcoming Olympics in Rio. Despite the end of his NBA career, Kobe still has a chance to join the team of the 12 best basketball players who will represent the U.S. in Brazil next year.
Saying goodbye to everyone
Kobe Bryant chose a very unusual way to say his goodbyes to his team, his fans, and the entiregame as well. On Nov. 29, the Players Tribune posted a poem titled “Dear Basketball.” The star guard wrote the poem on his own, and it is a kind of his personal life-story.
In the poem, he tells about a six-year-old boy who fell in love with basketball. There are lines about his dreams about playing basketball, about how he reached the top and started falling. In his emotional poem, Kobe Bryant confesses that although his mind is still in the field and his heart is still occupied by the game, his body betrays him, so the player cannot continue to do what he loves most anymore.
There was one more part of his goodbyes that was performed for Kobe Bryant’s fans. When people came to the Staples Center arena to see the Sunday’s game, they received an unusual letter from Kobe Bryant.
Why did Kobe write a letter for the fans tonight?
"They’ve got to know how much they’ve meant to me."
The Lakers said that Bryant wanted to show his fans how much they mean to him. We have at least 66 more games to enjoy Kobe Bryant’s performance until the end of the 2015-16 season. Next time, the Lakers will fight against the Philadelphia 76ers in Kobe Bryant’s hometown. The game is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 1.
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