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Kobe Bryant — one of the most popular, most successful, and most divisive players in NBA history — has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2015-16 season. The Los Angeles Lakers icon broke the news via a letter-poem on The Players’ Tribune late Sunday afternoon.
The full post is available here, but the key passage is below:
From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
In the Great Western Forum I knew one thing was real:
I fell in love with you.
A love so deep I gave you my all
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.
As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.
And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more……….
The full post is available here,
Read through the poetry and the message is clear — Kobe will retire at the end of this season. The Players’ Tribune sent out a press release confirming that Kobe had announced that this season will be his last. Bryant had previously suggested that this season was likely to be his last but had not made a formal announcement regarding his future.
NBA Rumor Round Up For Friday, November 27:
- Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers currently have a 2-12 record after 14 games and look terrible. Kobe Bryant’s poor play is a major concern and so to, according to some followers of the team, the coaching from Byron Scott and his staff. As of now, Scott feels he still has the backing from management — vice president of basketball personnel Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak. “I’ve told him (Kupchak) what I’m thinking about doing at times, some of the things I want to do with the young guys and some of the things I want to do with some of our veteran guys,” Scott told the Los Angeles Daily News. “But as far as the coaching part, he hasn’t talked about making changes.” … Scott is in the second year of the four-year, $17 million contract he signed in 2014. 2017-18 is a team option.
- New York Knicks: Forward Derrick Williams has averaged just 9.3 minutes over the last five games and he is not trilled with the lack of time on the floor. On Wednesday, Williams received a DNP-CD from Derek Fisher for the first time this season during the Knicks’ loss to the Magic. “I want to get out there and play. That’s the reason I’m here,” Williams tells the New York Daily News. “I don’t really know what happened (Wednesday) though. Like I said, you can’t really control that. That’s up to the coaching staff. At the same time it does get frustrating when I know I can help. We have more games, man.” … Williams signed a two-year, $8.9 million contract with the Knicks back in early July, however he can become a free agent in 2016 if he declines the player option for next season.
- San Antonio Spurs: Head coach Gregg Popovich has rested his older players over the years to make sure they stay fresh all the way through the regular season and that continues for 2015-16. On Friday the Spurs play in Denver, however Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are not with the team as they stayed back in San Antonio to get an extra day of rest, reports the San Antonio Express-News.
- Toronto Raptors: After James Johnson tweeted “#Mood. Under-utilized” Wednesday night following Toronto’s win over Cleveland, he posted this tweet on Thursday morning: “My bad, just want more than anything to be a big part of something special for fans, teammates and coaches. #wethenorth.” … Doug Smith of the Toronto Star has some thoughts on the recent rant and apology from Johnson and he writes: ” Here’s the simple fact and the reason I suggest Johnson’s career depends on how willing he is to accept a role in this, the last year of his contract. It didn’t work out for him in Chicago. It didn’t work out for him in his first stint in Toronto. It didn’t work out in Sacramento and it didn’t work out in Memphis and you wonder if it’s truly working out here this time around. Maybe it’s not every coach and every general manager and every organization?” … As Smith noted, Johnson’s contract expires at the end of June and at that time the two sides will likely part ways, if they don’t decide to split sometime by March 1 via buyout.
- Memphis Grizzlies: The team is currently without starting forward Zach Randolph (sore right knee) and backup forward/center Brandan Wright (sore right knee) and there is no timeline when either key member of the playing rotation will return to the lineup, according to The Commercial-Appeal. … Until Wright returns, JaMychal Green will continue to get the backup center minutes. Regarding the power forward spot, Jeff Green will stay with the starting group until Randolph comes back.
- Orlando Magic: Backup point guard C.J. Watson has missed the last seven games due to the strained left calf and that number should increase to eight as he likely won’t play Friday when the Magic take on the Bucks, reports the Orlando Sentinel. “I know he’s frustrated,” head coach Scott Skiles said. “It’s just kind of mysterious. The pain just hasn’t gone away. He’s a pro about it; he’s getting all the treatment he can get, and he’s trying to get back. But it’s just a bit of a mystery. He’s truly sore, still.” … With Watson sidelined, Skiles will continue to give Shabazz Napier the backup point guard minutes.
- New Orleans Pelicans: Whenever Tyreke Evans rejoins the active roster, head coach Alvin Gentry will likely play him at point guard, predicts Ronald Tillery of The Commercial-Appeal. Tillery writes: “Evans will mostly play at point guard, which is what Alvin Gentry said during media day in September. Gentry wants to take advantage of Evans’ ability to push the ball. Jrue Holiday could play off the ball and the Pelicans could use a three-guard lineup that involves Eric Gordon remaining in the starting lineup.“
- Sacramento Kings: 16 games have been played and head coach George Karl finally has a nine-player rotation, when all are healthy, that will get most of the minutes right now. “I think I’m learning who plays well with who,” Karl told The Sacramento Bee. Here is the rotation: PG – Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison; SG – Ben McLemore, Marco Belinelli; SF – Rudy Gay, Omri Casspi; PF – Willie Cauley-Stein; C – DeMarcus Cousins, Kosta Koufos.