Kobe Bryant announced the 2015-16 NBA season would be his last with the Los Angeles Lakers this past weekend.
The decision to retire had been something Bryant was thinking about for quite some time, but ultimately made his choice to walk away after this season following some quiet reflection.
Apparently, Bryant’s daily morning routine made his decision that much easier. Kobe told Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America” what convinced him 20 years in the league was more than enough via Katie Kindelan and Suzan Clarke of Yahoo News:
“I try to have at least 15 minutes of still time and just kind of sit in my thoughts in the morning and just kind of meditate. And normally what happens with me is my mind would always drift to the game. Always,” he said in reply to Roberts’ question during the Tuesday interview. “And then I found myself sitting there. My mind wouldn’t drift towards the game all the time anymore. And that’s when I started realizing, ‘You know what? It’s getting close. It’s getting close.’ Because now I’m not obsessively thinking about the game anymore. It’s not wired into my subconscious the way it used to be.”
Bryant’s dedication to his craft has been second to none in the NBA. Kobe had become obsessed with being the best player possible while leading the Lakers to as many championships as possible during his time in Los Angeles. That dedication led to numerous individual accolades as well as five NBA titles for the Lakers franchise.
Unfortunately, after three straight season-ending injuries, Kobe’s 37-year-old body can’t handle the rigors of an 82-game season. That burning desire to improve and play to the best of his ability seems to be expiring. Bryant is ready to move on to the next chapter in his life, and no one can blame him after two decades of battling it out.