Bryant surprised Lakers coach Byron Scott with his decision Saturday night. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS
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After 20 years in a Lakers uniform and a lifetime in basketball, Kobe Bryant determined that his aching body and his passion for the game had both grown weaker than his excitement about the future. That's when Kobe decided he could only wait a few more months to begin his life after the Lakers.Bryant announced Sunday that he will retire after this season, ending a landmark 20-year NBA career spent entirely with Los Angeles. Bryant went straight from high school in suburban Philadelphia to his favorite childhood team in 1996 . He became the top scorer in Lakers history with offensive creativity and resourceful athleticism that inspired the generation of fans and players who missed Michael Jordan's peak, but grew up on the dynamic exploits of the Lakers' latest superstar.In recent months, Bryant repeatedly said he didn't know whether he would play another season, clearly hoping for a rebound in his health and the Lakers' fortunes.Bryant surprised Lakers coach Byron Scott with his decision Saturday night.Bryant disagreed, and he decided to make it public after talking with Jordan and other "muses". Only 13 players in league history played on more championship teams than Bryant.
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