Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant will retire after the 2015-16 NBA season. Bryant announced his intentions to retire on Sunday night before the Los Angeles Lakers faced the Indiana Pacers at the Staples Center.
Kobe has come to the conclusion that his body simply can’t hold up anymore and after the season ends, he’ll walk away from the game. Although everyone knew Bryant would likely retire after his 20th season, no one knew Kobe would struggle as much as he has over the course of the first full month of the season.
As a result of Bryant’s struggles, the media has been highly critical of his play with the Lakers winning only two games in the first 16 games of the season.
The harsh criticism hasn’t gone unnoticed around the league with superstar Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder firing back at the media recently for their treatment of Bryant in his last year via Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman:
Kevin Durant on the criticism of Kobe: "You guys treated one of our legends like sh** and I didn't really like it" pic.twitter.com/Nza1C0ey0E
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 30, 2015
Over the past few years, Kevin Durant and his teammate Russell Westbrook have become more and more vocal about not being fond of the media coverage in the NBA. Both players, on more than one occasion, have fired back at the media and will likely continue to speak their minds.
As for Bryant, the five-time NBA champion seems content with his decision to call it a career at season’s end. Bryant seemed relieved to put an expiration date on his basketball career after months of speculation that had become a distraction for all those involved.
Bryant will continue his farewell tour on Tuesday night with the Lakers with the team traveling to his hometown to take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the first matchup of an eight-game road trip.