Kobe Bryant announced his retirement from the league in November, but as that news startled his loyal fans, another headline is making waves across the ‘Net.
According to Forbes, the five-time champion will retire with $680 million in career earnings. Throughout his expansive performance on the hardwood, Bryant estimated $465 million in endorsements and salary, but by the end of the 2015-16 season, that figure will tack on an added $215 million. Forbes also reports that the Los Angeles Laker’s “total earnings is the most ever by a team athlete during their playing career.”
On Nov. 29, the world-renowned athlete announced that he’s hanging up his jersey, sharing an open letter titled “Dear Basketball.” Within the sentimental post, Bryant wrote, “I played through the sweat and hurt not because challenge called me but because YOU called me.” He then continued, “I did everything for YOU because that’s what you do when someone makes you feel as alive as you’ve made me feel.”
Many players across the league have supported Bryant in his decision, namely Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant. “I did idolize Kobe Bryant. I studied him, wanted to be like him,” Durant said. “He had an amazing career, a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally, physically. Means so much to the game of basketball. Somebody I’m always going to look to for advice, for help, anything. Just a brilliant, brilliant, intelligent man. Sad to see him go. But he put his mark on the game while he was here.”
The Lakers currently stand fifth in the Pacific Division with a 4-22 record.