Kobe Bryant released a statement that he will retire after this season. Bryant wrote a letter addressed “Dear Basketball”on the website The Player’s Tribune that with statements including “This season is all I have left to give,” and “My heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye..” (See the full letter here.) Fans arriving at Staples Center for the Pacers-Lakers game on Sunday received a letter from Bryant in a black envelope embossed with gold.
Twitter reaction to Kobe’s announcement,
Bryant has thus far played 1,292 games plus an additional 220 games in the post season in the NBA. That’s almost an additional 3 seasons of playoff games. This does not even count his summers spent playing for USA Basketball and the Olympics.
Brant has won 5 world championships. In 2006, Bryant scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second-highest number of points scored in a game in NBA history, behind only Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point performance. Bryant currently ranks third both on the league’s all-time post-season scoring and all-time regular season scoring lists.
Bryant has been noticeably ineffective on the court this season, averaging 15.7 points a game while shooting only 31.5% from the field and 19.5% from three-point range.
The Lakers are in last place in the Western Conference with a 2-13 record.