On Sunday, November 29, 2015, Kobe Bryant announced on The Players’ Tribune website in a form of a first person poem call “Dear Basketball” that he was retiring after the 1015-16 season. Bryant addressed the media right after the losing game against the Indiana Pacers that he had made this decision a long time ago.
Bryant career started in 1996 when the Charlotte Hornets drafted him straight out of high school. He was then traded over to the Los Angeles Lakers where he played for 20 consecutive seasons, making him the only NBA players to play with one team that long. Since being with the Lakers he have helped them win NBA titles in 2000, 2002, 2009, and 2010.
While Bryant has had some good times with the team this season has not been going to well. The game Sunday against the Pacers marked their sixth consecutive loss. The Lakers is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings and he is shooting a career worst with 31.5 percent. Also with previous injuries he is unable to play even half the games in a season.
Kobe Bryant named will go down in history. Not only is he the only player in the NBA to play 20 consecutive season with one team, he also has 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, and two Olympic gold medals. He also is third on the NBA’s all time scoring list.
As far as the spot for Team USA’s 12-man roster for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo says that Bryant’s announcement does not affect his status for the Rio Games. Bryant did announce that he will be playing for the Olympic Games.