Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant announced that this will be his final season in a letter he published in The Players’ Tribune. “This season is all I have left to give,” Bryant wrote. “My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.” Bryant, 37, is undoubtedly one of the greatest players of all time, but injuries in recent seasons have taken a toll on the superstar’s body, as he alluded to in his letter. Bryant has spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, and he’s currently third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. He has won five NBA championships and earned MVP honors in 2008. Bryant was drafted out of high school by the Hornets with the 13th overall pick way back in 1996 but was subsequently traded to the Lakers. He is in the final season of a two-year deal that will pay him $25MM for the 2015/16 campaign.
Here’s more from the week that was:
- The Wizards signed center Ryan Hollins.
- Former Jazz and Cavs big man Jack Cooley reached an agreement to play the remainder of the season with Unicaja Malaga of Spain.
- Free agent Dionte Christmas, whom the Cavs waived shortly before the season started, signed with Hapoel Holon in Israel.
- Power forward Josh Powell, who was waived by the Bucks this preseason, signed with San Lorenzo in Argentina.
- Maurice Ndour is joining Real Madrid of Spain.
- Draft-and-stash prospect Tomislav Zubčić signed with the D-League affiliate of the Thunder.
- Dahntay Jones joined the D-League affiliate of the Pistons.
- Former Grizzlies and Nuggets shooting guard Jamaal Franklin joined the D-League affiliate of the Lakers.
You can stay up to date on all the D-League assignments and recalls for the season here.
- The NBA granted the Wizards a disabled player exception to offset the loss of Martell Webster to season-ending hip surgery.
- Former Mavericks and Pelicans point guard Gal Mekel signed with European power-agent Misko Raznatovic.
- Jazz center Rudy Gobert is out indefinitely after suffering a Grade II sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
- Pau Gasol said he’s “very likely” to opt out of his contract with the Bulls this coming summer.
- Evie Goldstein, the director of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, resigned from her post.
- Kings rookie center Willie Cauley-Stein will miss about four to six weeks because of an open dislocation of his right index finger he suffered late in Thursday’s loss to the Celtics.
- The setback Mike Dunleavy suffered in his recovery from offseason back surgery will reportedly cost him an additional four to six weeks.
- The Pacers have reportedly made Solomon Hill available to other teams who might be interested in trading for him.