“I said, ‘KB, I played you 20 minutes in the first half. I’m going to cut those minutes down. I’ve got to cut them down,’” Scott told Bryant before the team’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. “He said, ‘That’s good, coach. That’s all right. I’m going to announce my retirement after the game.”
On Sunday, Bryant shared a poem on The Players Tribune finalizing his decision.
Bryant has also made a request to not have any on-court ceremonies or gift presentations from opposing NBA teams, as he believes it would detract from the game, according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. Teams will be limited to video tributes or private moments with the NBA star.
Bryant told Good Morning America that his daily morning meditation helped him realize his 20-season career was coming to an end.
Bryant, 37, is a five-time NBA champion, a 17-time All Star and an NBA MVP. However, in his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers he has been struggling, averaging 16.8 points per game and a 31.1 shooting percentage.
The Lakers are 3–15 after defeating the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. Bryant finished with a season-high of 31 points in the victory.
- Christopher Chavez