After 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant announced he will retire at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season.
While he initially struggled to regain his form to start the season, Kobe is averaging 20.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his past four games.
With Kobe retiring at the end of the season, the Lakers have established a young core of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. When asked how the storied franchise moves on from him, Kobe had the following to say, via Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
Kobe on how Lakers move on from him: "Makes smart decisions. Make smart choices. Build the team."
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) December 21, 2015
After playing for two decades in the purple and gold, it is difficult to envision the Lakers without Kobe. However, they have a young nucleus, a top-three protected pick and a projected $65 million in cap space to pursue free agents this upcoming off-season.
With the Lakers planning to move on without Kobe, he has recently adjusted his game to make the transition easier for Russell, Randle and Clarkson. In response, they have all shown what they are capable, especially the rookie point guard.