Kobe Bryant Announces Retirement

Alex Holmes

Lakers at Wizards 12/3/14

Five time NBA champion Kobe Bryant has announced that this season will be the last of his illustrious 20-year career.  

The 17-time all-star’s last game will be the 13th April trip to his hometown Philadelphia.

Bryant, 37, led the Lakers to five championships, winning the Most Valuable Player award in 2008. His scoring ability and ruthless attitude saw him rise into one of the most exciting players of his generation and his career numbers are amongst the best in history.

Addressing the media after the Lakers’ loss to the Indiana Pacers last night, Bryant said that he had made his decision “a while” ago.

Bryant said: “A decision like this, you can’t make that decision based on outside circumstances. It has to be an internal decision, and finally I’ve decided to accept that I can’t actually do this anymore, and I’m OK with that. It takes a weight off my shoulders and everybody else’s.”

Fellow Lakers legend Magic Johnson commented on Bryant’s legacy in Los Angeles: “He’s the closest thing we’ve seen to Michael Jordan. He’ll probably go down as the second-greatest scoring guard. You couldn’t stop him. His will to win was incredible and he stayed in the gym like no other.”

Since 2003, Bryant’s reputation has been rebuilding following the sexual assault allegation that led to a loss of major endorsement deals.

Over the last decade however, Bryant has become one of the most recognisable figures in Los Angeles, with a multi-million dollar deal with Nike and success on the court leading to his rise to becoming named as one of the highest paid sportsmen in the world by Forbes.

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