The legacy of the Black Mamba is coming to an end as the one and only Kobe Bryant, announced on Sunday (Nov. 29) that he will officially put the basketball down and step away from the game to wrap up his 20 year professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers. As many fans reminisce and look back on all the unforgettable memories that Bryant brought to the NBA, some may wonder what about now made him make the decision. The superstar sat down with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America and revealed his reason behind his retirement.
“You know, going through my entire career, I’ve never really understood what athletes meant when they said, ‘You — when you know you know.’ But now I certainly understand it … So once I knew this was it, might as well say it,” Bryant expressed. After a few missed postseason appearances and experiencing numerous injuries that kept him sidelined from the game longer than usual Mamba fashion, Bryant shared that it all factored into where he stands now. “It was something that kind of evolved over the last three years, you know, with the Achilles injury, that really frightened me. Because you know, it was like, ‘My career could be over now.’ It scared me. ‘What am I going do next?’ sort of thing. So I took that time to start trying to figure that out,” he said.
The lifelong Laker who never shied away from the fact that he’ll forever bleed purple and gold even revealed that his mindset started to shift away from the game of basketball and in that was when he knew that it was time. “I try to have at least 15 minutes of still time and just kind of sit in my thoughts in the morning and just kind of meditate. And normally what happens with me is my mind would always drift to the game. Always,” Bryant said. “And then I found myself sitting there. My mind wouldn’t drift towards the game all the time anymore. And that’s when I started realizing, ‘You know what? It’s getting close. It’s getting close.’ Because now I’m not obsessively thinking about the game anymore. It’s not wired into my subconscious the way it used to be.”
Watch Kobe Bryant discuss his decision to retire on Good Morning America below: