Lakers coach Byron Scott told reporters, including Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter link), that he was the first person Kobe Bryant told about the superstar’s plan to retire after this season. Scott said Bryant informed him on Saturday. Scott reiterated that Bryant plans to play the rest of the season, Mike Trudell of Lakers.com tweets.
Here’s more news, notes and reactions on Bryant’s announcement:
- Scott also told reporters that he believes Bryant had at least one more year in him, Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com relays (on Twitter). Bryant, 37, is averaging 15.7 points per game on a career-worst 31.5% shooting percentage (heading into action Sunday).
- Bryant notified the Lakers of his intentions to retire on Sunday, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register tweets. Bryant’s decision comes across as a strategic one because it turns attention away from the dissection of his statistics, and it comes before a home game and then a game at his native Philadelphia, Oram also notes on Twitter.
- USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told Marc Stein of ESPN.com that Bryant remains in contention for a spot with the USA Basketball team in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics (Twitter link). Bryant said earlier this month that he would be thrilled to play for USA Basketball. Bryant won gold medals the past two Olympics.
- Stein also relays on Twitter that Bryant previously told him he has no plans to play a season overseas.
- Bryant believes the next chapter of his life will revolve around telling stories in various media forms, he told Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press before making his announcement.
- Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement regarding Bryant’s decision. “With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game,” Silver said. “Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game. I join Kobe’s millions of fans around the world in congratulating him on an outstanding NBA career and thank him for so many thrilling memories.”