WATCH: Kobe Bryant Gives Retirement Speech
Kobe Bryant held a press conference Sunday, November 30, to announce that he will not be seeking a new NBA contract at the end of the current season, meaning he's done with basketball forever. No more Kobe Bryant. Gone. For good.
Despite the awkwardness of this rather un-Kobe-like announcement (when has this guy ever admitted defeat?), he managed to be gracious and thoughtful -- even at times philosophical. Oh, and then he was all like, "Oh look, I'm fluent in Italian!" and gave a few answers in, well, Italian. That part was cool.
I think it goes without saying that, given what we know about Kobe, this could've gone way worse (read: Kobe can be weird). But his trademark frankness didn't feel as prickly as it often does; instead it gave the whole press conference a refreshing realness. The dude was saying how he genuinely felt -- or it least it seemed that way.
"You know, i have known for a while. i have always said if anything changes, then i will change my mind. but the problem became for me with what does that really mean? a decision like this, you can't make that decision based on the circumstances. it has to be an internal decision and finally i just had to accept the fact that i don't want to do this anymore -- and i'm ok with that. once i accepted that, then it became time to just let everybody know. it takes a load off my shoulders and everybody else's. it is just the right thing to do."
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