LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — After two decades, two Olympic gold medals, five championship rings, 17 All-Star selections, an 81-point game that ranks as the second-best in NBA history and more than 32,000 points, Bryant’s career is officially coming to an end.
In an article written for the Players Tribune on Sunday, Bryant wrote an emotional story about his basketball career.
His article titled, “Dear Basketball” details his journey and ultimately reveals his fate at the end of this year.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) November 29, 2015
Kobe’s retirement announcement crashed The Players Tribune website, down for over 45 minutes before it was fixed.
“My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye,” Bryant wrote.
If the Lakers do not make the playoffs, Kobe Bryant’s last game will be on April 13th against the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center.
“To me, he’s the best player I’ve ever played against. He’s the Michael Jordan of his era.” – Jamal Crawford on Kobe Bryant
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) November 30, 2015
NBA commisioner Adam Silver issued this statement following Bryant’s announcement:
If this Kobe announcement was in the works for a while, Lakers didn’t know. He notified the team today.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 30, 2015
USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN on Sunday that Kobe Bryant remains in contention for Team USA roster spot for Rio games in ’16.
If there’s one thing Kobe Bryant has, it’s a slew of NBA accolades.
- 5-time NBA champion
- 2-time NBA Finals MVP
- 1 NBA MVP
- 17-time NBA All-Star selection
- 4-time NBA All-Star Game MVP
- 11-time All-NBA First Team
- 2-time All-NBA Second Team
- 2-time All-NBA Third Team
- 9-Time NBA All-Defensive First Team
- 3-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team
- 2-time NBA Scoring Champion
- 1997 NBA Slam Dunk Champion
- Los Angeles Lakers all-time leading scorer
All fans in attendance of Sunday’s game will receive this letter written by Kobe Bryant
Fans attending tonight’s Lakers game are getting this letter from Kobe. pic.twitter.com/gRSpuaKoTE
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 30, 2015
While Kobe has certainly had his struggles this season, it will be tough for everyone to see him walk off the court for the last time at the end of this season.