Kobe Bryant announces retirement

Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant has decided to retire after this season.

The five-time NBA champion announced his decision in a post published on The Players’ Tribune. The traffic on the site was so heavy that the site crashed.

“This season is all I have left to give,” writes Bryant in the poem.

The current season has been difficult for Bryant. His struggles came after he tore an Achilles’ tendon. Injuries have allowed him to play in 41 of a possible 164 games in the previous two seasons and this season, back issues have restricted him from playing on the court as much as he wants. The Lakers are in last place in the Western Conference with a 2-13 record to start off the season. “I just can’t make a shot,” said Bryant after the Lakers’ third lost this season.

Bryant has been shooting 32 percent of his shots. This season, he has been averaging 17 points a game compared to 35 points a game in the 2005-2006 season. Bryant took 14 shots in a game against the San Antonio Spurs and made only one of them. “I’m the 200th-best player in the league right now,” Bryant said after the Lakers’ lost to the Dallas Mavericks. “I freaking suck.”

Retired professional basketball player Charles Barkley said in an interview, “Kobe can’t get open shots. He can’t go around people to get layups. It’s hard to make contested shots.”

“I feel like his days are over. After his surgery he just wasn’t the old Mamba,” said sophomore Kendric Montogomery.

But it wasn’t always like this for Bryant.

Bryant won back to back titles in 2009-2010, and was named the Most Valuable Player for both championships. He ranks third on the NBA’s career scoring list with 32,703 points. Bryant also has competed on the U.S Olympic team twice and has played for the Lakers since 1996.

“Kobe was my Jordan,” said Paul George who plays for the Indiana Pacers.

5 remarkable stats about Kobe Bryant

1.) Byrant made 81 points in one game against the Raptors which is the second-highest total points made in NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain has the highest with a 100-point game in 1962.

2.) No one in NBA history has ever played two decades with the same team. Byrant has been playing 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers.

3.) In his career, Byrant has played in over 1,587 NBA games.

4.) Byrant has played in 13 All-Star games.

5.) The black mamba has won 17 player of the month awards, and 33 player of the week awards.