Kobe Bryant On Not Retiring During 2015-16 Lakers Season
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Los Angeles Lakers lost their sixth consecutive game on Sunday night, the big news of the day came earlier in the day when Kobe Bryant announced that he would retire at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season.

Kobe had continually said that he was unsure if this would truly be his final year, but the announcement on The Player’s Tribune made it clear that Kobe’s 20th season will be his last.

While some fans have called for Kobe to simply retire immediately, Kobe says that he never considered retiring during the season according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

The thought of Kobe retiring in the middle of the season was a bit of a reach for fans, even if Kobe’s play has not been great this season. Of course, Elgin Baylor famously retired nine games into the 1972 season and those Lakers promptly went on an NBA record 33-game winning streak.

Baylor, however, felt he was holding that team back and those Lakers had future Hall of Famers in Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Gail Goodrich. These Lakers, with Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, and Julius Randle, are not close to that level.

It is interesting that Kobe finds beauty in his struggles of this year. In recent years, Kobe has spoken about finding beauty in the process of his recovery from injuries. Now, in his final games, he seems as if he will find more beautiful things, regardless of how ugly the outcomes could be.

Yeah, he didn’t say it, but he has 25 million reasons to not retire in the middle of the season.

  • ya but thats one of many reasons. he honestly dose enjoy this but i agree 100% that 25mill is on his mind

  • I wouldn’t call what we are witnessing beauty. Words like “ugly” and “embarrassing” and “what the f” come to mind though.

  • Best for Russell, JC and the other youth to make the most of getting as much info as possible from 24 since this may likely be his last year.

  • At a certain point, I think they’ll shut him down like they did with Nash. But hopefully he stays healthy. If he plays 60 games this season, I’ll be stunned.

  • He better not leave 25 million on the table, that would be a poor decision. It’s definitely a factor, but to say it’s the only factor would be ridiculous. There are many different factors and one of the biggest is probably his enduring love for the game of basketball, as demonstrated in his open letter. He knows he can’t do it anymore, which is why he’s retiring, but he still loves the game a lot.

    He deserves his swan song though so I’m glad we’ll be able to share his last moments on the court before he’s gone.

  • They shut down Nash because he wasn’t healthy. If Kobe stays healthy they won’t shut him down. These are his last games, he’s going to play as many of them as he can.

  • That’s how things usually go when you get old. It’s a sad thing isn’t it? His body is betraying him now but let’s not forget all that he’s done. He gave his heart to the game every night.

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