Kobe Bryant announces he’ll retire at the end of the season

VIDEO: The GameTime crew reacts to Kobe Bryant announcing his retirement.

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — No more speculation.

This will be Kobe Bryant‘s final season in the NBA.

Bryant announced his forthcoming retirement via a poem entitled “Dear Basketball” on the Player’s Tribune website.

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.

Bryant will finish his career as the third leading scorer in NBA history, a 17 or 18-time All-Star, and a five-time champion. But injuries and age have forced him to miss 126 games over the last two-plus seasons, and his field goal percentage of 31.5 percent in on pace to be the worst the league has seen in more than 50 years.

82 Comments

  1. Jordan Maille says:

    Kobe you have inspired me to keep playing and working hard I am 15 and you are my favorite player and you always will be, basketball won’t be the same without you and I will miss you but you showed your one of the greats of all time and that your a true laker. Thank you Kobe

  2. purpngold says:

    I knew in my heart this was your final season, as I saw you struggle since early on. Yet I refused to acknowledge it until you announced it to the world. You have been my hero since you entered the league a young phenom. I grew along your side just as you grew into the best player of your generation. You met all challenges head on on never quit and nearly triumphed over all of them. You have been more than my favorite ball player of all time, you have been an inspiration in my own personal life. Because of you, when things have gotten tough and I felt like I could not do it anymore, I kept going and didn’t quit. All I had to do was think, what would Kobe do if he was in my shoes. That never quit, never die attitude has changed my life. Thank you Kobe, for being more than the best player the world has seen, (in my eyes), thank you for making the beginning of every nba season something to always look forward to, and making every Lakers game something I could not miss, and thank you most importantly for just being you. The game will not be the same without you. Respect Black Mamba. Take care.

  3. peter says:

    LEGEND, gl man in real life

  4. Mac Dimacs says:

    ALL TIME CLUTCH SHOOTER! no one will ever break that!

  5. MMM says:

    Kobe you are one of the GREATS! my 85 year old sister has watched you for years and thinks you are the greatest player
    ever. I wish you the best and will look for you in some other field of basketball.

  6. TonyZuluaga says:

    Kobe,

    You are the best player in NBA history in my eyes, I will miss watching you play the game, been watching your games and highlights since 1997, in my eyes you go down in history as the best who ever played the game. Wish you the best in your new challenge in life, and hopefully you have the determination as you did for the game of basketball. NBA Rushmore for sure.

  7. Albert Pang says:

    KB if you’re leaving after this Lakers 2015-2016 season. Well, we fans will be sad to hear you go. Nonetheless, if it’s the pain & agony that causes your body to hint to you. Time for a break & rest. Well, then we’re all human beings after all. We can’t pushed our bodies way too hard & beyond it’s boundaries after all. Our bodies are after all our flesh, blood & soul. Without any of the above mentioned, we’re nothing but dead bodies in skeleton.

    You’ll be badly mizzed after all that you’ve done for the Lakers team. Yet, underappreciated by many of your fellow team mates to meet the requirements of a win. A win makes so much difference.

    On behalf of all global fanatic NBA fans, KB we all wished you all the best & good health well being after your retirement from the NBA. The one & only hoop games which you fondly loved since joining NBA back then as a 18th year old rookie fresh out of senior high school.

    Fm : Albert Pang(loyal fan of KB & Lakers team).

  8. TT says:

    I’ve been a fan since Kobe was in H.S. And it will be hard to watch the NBA without him. I WILL BE A KOBE FAN FOR LIFE!!!!!!

  9. Elysian says:

    Cmon people he aint retireing yet… so dont cry :)) he has still hopefully 60 plus games to play and we can enjoy it🙂

  10. Manny says:

    If there’s one NBA’er I shall cherish for life, it has to be Kobe. It has been a wonderful ride.

  11. Anthony Cullum says:

    This gona start alot of beef but… I always thought you was the goat… Loved growing up watching you play. Only player that has to be damn near dead to leave the floor. We will never see a next Kobe. Thanks for all you gave the nba and fans across the world. I can most def see coach momba sooner than later..

  12. mityo says:

    Godspeed my friend!!

  13. DiploTv says:

    Looking at this made me realise after all these years of kobe bashing I really hated him because of his dominance. The dude could really play ball. Its sad to see a legend hang up his jersey. I hope he finds another reason to be ambitious. Thanks for making a better NBA Kobe. Respect.

  14. fjruedas says:

    Una lagrima cae en España debido a éste “adios” de uno de los grandes del baloncesto.
    He podido verte nacer, crecer y ahora espero poder verte decir adios durante este año.
    Todo mi agradecimiento y amor por el Señor Kobe Bryant.

  15. Ruiqi says:

    Kobe, you are the one make me love basketball. Thanks Kobe. You are the best player!!!

  16. dfsdf says:

    I wanna cry. Best player I have seen in my life

  17. Pixel toys says:

    One life One Club, Salute Kobe.

  18. Car says:

    Kobe,
    Basketball the way you played, practiced and trained is how every young player coming up should emulate. There are those who would say thank goodness now we can rebound. Those that would wish you good luck and on the other side of their mouth say too bad you didn’t take so much money. I say these people forget how much you have to give every game and the dedication to being the best you can be. I for one wil miss seeing you play plain and simple. Please stay close to the game if you can.

  19. jdub455 says:

    and now begins the rise of the lakers!!! peace to one of the greats of all time!

  20. Antonio Perez says:

    kobe fan always attacking Jordan , just for the record , Jordan scored 50+ at 38 years old and 40+ point when he was 40 playing with the lousy wizards , all i can say about kobe that he is fustrated with his team his coach and laker managment office , i’m sure he can still play is just that he having an emotional problem that is affecting his game , also the lack of game time and injuries for the last 3 season , kobe will be much better playing g in another team but he already said that he ain’t going to do that , that’s why is better for him to retire , but i’m sure he can still play , and by the way and a Jordan fan and a kobe hater for life , nobody hate kobe more than me for stealing “borrowing” Jordan moves , at the end of the day is sad to let him go because hew was fun to watch , people will always remember the 81 points but i will never forget the 2 straight block he gave lebron in the all star game
    farewell to the mamba

  21. jd says:

    simply the best. thanks for all

  22. 50000downloads says:

    Dear Kobe

    I never liked you that much. In my eyes you were a copycat, a Michael Jordan imitator, albeit a very, very good one.
    Despite of that, I have nothing but respect for your love of the game, your competitive fire, the work you put in to get to the top of the mountain and stay there for almost 20 years. You are the only one in history up til now to scratch the heels of Michael Jordan in terms of individual dominance as a basketball player. (No, I don’t like Lebron either, he took the easier path while you stayed loyal to one team). I can only imagine how many more rings you would ‘ve won if your relationship with Shaq hadn’t gone down the drain, but hey, it was your decision to forge a legacy of your own and one must respect that. Enjoy your last season, never mind the result nor the poor shooting %, savor the feeling of being an NBA player, an All Star even in this darker hour, and walk away with your head held high, knowing that you are one of the best to ever play the game. Thank you, Mr Kobe!

  23. enzoandongo says:

    MJ # 1 KOBE # 2 # 3 ????????????

  24. Fergus says:

    I always hate this guy especially in 2010 when he broke my heart and my dear old Celtics was defeated in the finals by the the purple & gold team, but I admire Kobe and what he did for basketball. Salute! #wishyouallthebestkobe

  25. simon says:

    kobe let lakers finally breath

  26. SHAN says:

    at last it’s just the time that decides
    just like all the other things on earth
    #sad

  27. SHAN says:

    at last it’s just the time that decides
    just like all the other things on earth

  28. Anurag says:

    The aura of greatness which you brought to the game of basketball , no one can ever touch the milestones made by you Kobe. I still admire your competitive approach towards the game and you are are and will be a role model for the coming generations. You will live long in our hearts BLACK MAMBA!

  29. The feels are strong with this one…

    Thank you Kobe for all the great years!

  30. Philip says:

    Thank you Kobe…..

  31. Franklin says:

    Awesome your still going a champ congrats Kobe I will always remember you

  32. Morgan Shaver says:

    Kobe, you have been a big part of my life. I used to listen to your games on the radio or watch the play by play on nba.com that showed a little cartoon ball get thrown towards a cartoon rim whenever a shot was taken. There was nothing better than listening over the radio when kobe had the ball with seconds left on the clock. You will be missed! I don’t know if I will follow the game of basketball quite like I have the past 15 years with you not playing. Please coach…. Soon!

  33. Spoiled vino says:

    1-15, 4-20, clearly the best! Aiming for the worst shooting in 50 years.

    Love,
    from Denver.

  34. Fredy Rey Marzo says:

    Thank you for all the good memories, you really showed your great moves and creativity in basketball that all fans love to watch. An avid Lakers fans like me is so proud of all your achievements that any player could hardly match. You will not be forgotten because you’re one of the greatest player in NBA. Good luck on your next journey.

  35. serge says:

    Not a surprise because it’s looking so bad right now and it’s time to go.

  36. jose hernandez says:

    thank you kobe for all the memories, we all love you & we’ll forever miss you man

  37. sanjay says:

    the lakers management is the root cause for this debacle. kobe deserved his money but the salary package should have been around 150 mil-highest in the league. the ticket prices in la are highest. so they would have made all that money back by surrounding him with top talent to compete for a championship!

  38. Joshua Uy says:

    You’re the Greatest Kobe ! I enjoyed watching NBA because of you.

  39. jevon achacon says:

    kobe please let us see a real kobe game one more time just one time! kobe is the best ever!🙂

  40. alino says:

    Greatness personified and it’s time for you go because this season so far you look so bad and if I has you I should stop last year.
    For the money your exit will be bad.

    Good luck Champ.

  41. Sau A says:

    @kobebryant Kobe, thanks for all the great years! : READ about the current state of the LAKERS. https://t.co/f1hglnZj2M

  42. Mark covington says:

    Kobe will truly be missed by the game & also the fans. He’s leaving behind some of the greatest moments in sports!! Farewell my friend I’m one fan that will truly miss the excitement u brought to game. B Blessed!!

  43. Jack Willis says:

    Dear Mr. Bryant,

    Thank you for your devotion towards basketball and life. Although I am not your fan for a long time, your charisma and work ethics have significantly changed my attitude towards my life. I used to be a person who always slacks off and being arrogant towards my insignificant achievements, until I have encountered your name.

    You trained like a demon and you have slaughtered other monsters to become one of the best in league. You have the talent but you are unsatisfied, you have the strength but you are humble, you are not only good but also the best. You came, you saw, you conquered. I am sorry that you might have a disappointing ending for your finale but hey, this makes your story much more beautiful.

    You deserve more championships but you treasure loyalty more. This characteristic is something much valuable than rings. You have encountered hurdles like the Celtics, you have met the giants like Yao Ming and Dwight Howard,yet you possess the great spirits within you and transform things that are ought to be impossible to become possible. Your determination and devotion makes you shine brighter than other legends for me.

    Thank you Mr Bryant for being such an inspiration to me and all the other great fans. I wish you all the best in the remaining games as well as your life beyond NBA. Love your poem and love your game, having you as my idol makes my life less lame. Who cares about the players ranking, who cares whether you are a silver or gold in 2k, you are always a legend. No matter you are at your peak or at your low, I respect you and thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for everything.

    Bon Voyage, Kobe!

    Yours sincerely,
    Jack Willis

  44. Raptorz4Life says:

    Hats off to one of the greatest Lakers player of all time.

  45. James d. Goodine says:

    Kobe i will miss not seeing u n a laker uniform !!! You r the reason i love basketball so much thank u for memories and good luck n whatever u will do and would love see your kids turn pro basketball players to carry on u and jellybean lengendancy going miss u dude take care and please keep n touch . Ps love u man ur awesome well good nite and take care bye.

  46. kevin says:

    Good news! It is difficult to see such a talent struggling so badly. This not the Kobe we know, In fact he should leave now to avoid more frustrations. It is time to enjoy in a different level such as coaching or any management position with the Lakers. Could Lakers have any possibility to make the playoffs now that Kobe will take a secondary role? Can Scott gear our LA team towards at least a decent job?

  47. johnny dawson says:

    His greed for all that salary kept other great players from playing alongside him. Pity. He could have had more rings if he had been able to share the ball and the money.

    • Ant says:

      GREED?!?, ok Lebrun is on a 50 million for two Kevin love got 100 mil and they gave Thompson 80 mil Lakers upper manager offered it it’s not his job to figure out the finance my dude they kill me blaming him for that it’s been the owner and upper management how come the cavs had the cap and we didn’t no one else on the lakers his making up salary range but the cavs have three over 50???

    • Deeznuts says:

      It aint like he demanded the money. They offered it and he took it, just like you would

  48. cam cam says:

    Kobe Bryant the great!!Hence the reason I named I son after him, Kobe Wright hope he follows in your footsteps.

  49. Arvind says:

    Should have retired with immediate effect, As usual showing that for him the he is way more important than the team.

  50. Kaykkk says:

    Koke, i hated you when i was 20, i hated you when you took away the championship from AI, and now, i really hate you’re gonna to leave us, respect.

  51. Jeff Morgan says:

    You’ll be missed Mr. Bryant. Your a great addition to the many other Lakers stars through the years. I’ll look forward to seeing your jersey retired along with the greatest Lakers players of all time. May you have all the success with your life after your playing days. Hope you work something out to stay on with the Lakers. Thanks for the memories.

  52. Missing AI says:

    Hated you for so many years but I don’t want to see you go and it’s heartbreaking to see you struggle like this. I can’t believe it’s coming to an end, my eyes will miss you on the court!

  53. LebronisKing says:

    Kobe was cool, but father time has triumphed again. This is why we need a senior citizen NBA league of great players past their prime. Sure, it would be a lot slower with a lot less games and a lot of arthritis, but there would be a huge discount on ticket sales. And remember, it’s not Lebron losing Finals, its his team(s) hit by injuries. I don’t care if Golden State goes 82-0, 1. They still won’t be better than Jordan’s Bulls and 2. Cleveland Cavs will beat them in the NBA Finals with a healthy Kyrie Irving this time. In my dreams. But still.

  54. warriors fan says:

    Micheal Jordan and then Kobe, the two best in my life time. I had the honor to watch them both at their prime. Both were fighters and both took the shots no other would all with style. No future player will ever match them, including Lebron and his records.

  55. love_Cbulls says:

    thanks kobe good luck

  56. LARichNotFamous says:

    Oh my Lord, finally! Thank you, thank you so much Kobe.
    Now we can finally plug that $25 million a year money waste dump hole and start rebuilding.

  57. Robert Rosales says:

    Kobe will b missed thanxs 4 the memories

  58. Robert Rosales says:

    Kobe will b missed

  59. Sunni Ali says:

    You’re still one if the best ever!! Time to next chapter!

  60. Jon Gutierrez says:

    My hats off to the Great Kobe Bryant!! Salute and Respect

  61. Manute says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  62. richatd says:

    No like kobe. ..?

  63. andrew says:

    Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. George says:

    Thanks for a fabulous career, Black Mamba!

  65. roger says:

    One of the greatest of all times. I am so thankful to have watch Kobe Bean Bryant play basketball for 20 years. We are all so fortunate to be able to watch, in essence, MJ for almost 35 years. He will be missed.

    LA is so screwed.

    • apexofkryptos says:

      LA screwed itself for the last 3-4 years trying to build a team “for Kobe”. They should have been rebuilding with Kobe as the cherry on top, but no. They blew it.

  66. Tomahawk Jones says:

    I scream “Oorah Bandidos” every chance that I get!

    You know why? Because I’m too legit to quit!

  67. Golden State Warriors says:

    Congrats to Kobe on a great career. No matter what people say, he will always be one of the greats. #kobe #clutch #retirement #greatness

  68. Farkas says:

    Greatness personified

  69. mr.brentwood says:

    kobe one of the greats but your time has come and is not coming back…..its been real bro#goodnight#timetofish#itsbeenova

  70. Samson says:

    Mamba

    As a Spurs fan I’ve hated you for so many years but it wasn’t your personality, it was your play against my boys. Tim still tied you in ships, but you were his main rival & biggest repeat denier. Anyway, you were the greatest I’ve seen since Jordan & I’ll miss hating you lol.

  71. Paulo Webba says:

    Definitely the best player I have ever seen.
    Thanks Mr. Bryant!! You inspired many.

  72. Wen Yang says:

    Thank you for the memory

  73. Kizzle says:

    Well, he said he wouldn’t do what MJ did. But hes actually is doing worse, looking at his stats. I congratulate him for eating a piece of humble pie and letting the world know its time, his touch isnt there anymore. Great career. Unfortunate end. Bye Kobe

    • Purpleandgold says:

      Say whatever.

    • NP says:

      Don’t be fooled by their respective age, Kobe has a lot mileage than MJ did near retirement.

      • Antonio Perez says:

        kobe fan always attacking Jordan , just for the record , Jordan scored 50+ at 38 years old and 40+ point when he was 40 playing with the lousy wizards , all i can say about kobe that he is fustrated with his team his coach and laker managment office , i’m sure he can still play is just that he having an emotional problem that is affecting his game , also the lack of game time and injuries for the last 3 season , kobe will be much better playing g in another team but he already said that he ain’t going to do that , that’s why is better for him to retire , but i’m sure he can still play , and by the way and a Jordan fan and a kobe hater for life , nobody hate kobe more than me for stealing “borrowing” Jordan moves , at the end of the day is sad to let him go because hew was fun to watch , people will always remember the 81 points but i will never forget the 2 straight block he gave lebron in the all star game
        farewell to the mamba

      • Emman says:

        I only watch NBA because of him. I might not watch NBA until I see another player like Kobe. Congratulations on all of your achievements.