Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant talks at news conference on why he decided to announce his retirement prior to an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Los Angeles, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
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Kobe Bryant has decided to retire after this season, ending his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.Bryant's last three seasons have ended early due to injuries, and he played in only 41 games over the previous two years.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 then missed his first six shots, including three 3-pointers, before making a layup late in the first quarter.Only 13 players in league history played on more championship teams than Bryant.And even with the Lakers already likely to miss the playoffs for the third straight season -- a first in franchise history -- Bryant intends to keep going. General manager Mitch Kupchak has spent his entire career building rosters around Bryant, but the executive acknowledged frustration with the Lakers' incredible struggles in Bryant's final two seasons.The Lakers' eight-game road trip beginning next week is almost certain to begin a prolonged goodbye to Bryant, one of the NBA's most popular and most divisive players.
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