With Kobe Bryant officially announcing his retirement at the end of the 2015-16 Los Angeles Lakers season, the farewell tour is in full effect.
The Lakers are currently on an eight-game road trip and there have been ceremonies from the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards to show their appreciation for the five-time champion.
Prior to the game against the Atlanta Hawks, head coach Byron Scott shares Kobe informed him of retirement during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
In an interview with ESPN on Friday, Scott revealed for the first time the details of that exchange, which he said occurred at the start of the third quarter of the Lakers’ 108-96 loss to the Trail Blazers on Saturday.
As a result, Scott was shocked of Kobe’s in-game retirement announcement, via Holmes:
“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 said after his team’s morning shootaround ahead of their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. “He said, ‘That’s good, coach. That’s all right. I’m going to announce my retirement after the game.'”
Before his heroics against the Wizards, Kobe has struggled to regain his form in his 20th season. Appearing in 15 games, he is averaging 16.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 31.4 minutes. However, he is on pace to shoot a career-worst 31.1 percent on 18.0 attempts per game.
With Kobe and the Lakers playing well against the Wizards in a 108-104 win, they look to build on their performance against the Hawks.