23 May 2015

Kobe Bryant set for retirement

7:47 am on 23 May 2015

Kobe Bryant will make next season his last with the Los Angeles Lakers after 20 years that have produced five NBA basketball titles.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak says Bryant has indicated he's on the last year of a deal.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant Photo: PHOTOSPORT

He says there have been no discussions about anything going forward and he doesn't think there will be.

The 36-year-old guard has played for the Lakers for his entire NBA career, but has been nagged by injuries in recent seasons and unable to display the form that made him a 17-time All-Star, two-time NBA scoring champion and two-time Olympic champion.

Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon in April of 2013 to end his season, but signed a two-year contract extension worth 66 million dollars that kept him the NBA's top-paid player and set him up to become the first player to compete for the same club for 20 seasons.

Only six games after returning from his tendon injury, Bryant suffered a fractured left knee and missed the remainder of the 2013-14 season.

Bryant returned for this season and became the third-highest all-time NBA scorer last December, passing Michael Jordan's 32,292 points.

Nagged by sore knees, feet, tendons and back, Bryant continued until suffering a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder last January, forcing him to undergo season-ending surgery that was expected to sideline him for nine months.

The Lakers went 21-61 last season and will have the second selection in next month's NBA Draft.