Hours after announcing that this will be his final season in the NBA, Kobe Bryant spoke with the media to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.

Below is a full transcription from his postgame presser:

Q: On when he decided to retire:
Bryant: I’ve known for awhile. I’ve always said that if anything changes, it’ll change my mind. The problem is: What does that really mean? You can’t make that decision based on outside circumstances. It has to be an internal decision. Finally I just had to accept the fact that I don’t want to do this anymore, and I’m OK with that. Once I accepted that, it became time to let everybody know. Why not? It takes a load off my shoulders and everybody else’s. It was just the right thing to do.

Q: On if he was emotionally drained in the game:
Bryant: Not really. It was the second game of a back-to-back, so I was drained for other reasons. But I honestly feel good about it. I really feel at peace with it and excited for what’s to come, honestly.

Q: On the hardest part of retiring:
Bryant: Honestly, I don’t know. It’s tough to say now. I think that question becomes a lot easier to answer when training camp comes around next year and I’m not there. I think that question becomes easier to answer. Right now, I honestly feel really at peace with it. I’ve worked to so hard and continue to work really, really hard, even though I play like s—; I work really, really hard to not play like crap. I just do everything I possibly can, and I feel good about that.

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LOS ÁNGELES – La sala de conferencias del STAPLES Center se convirtió en el lugar en el que Kobe Bryant empezó a decir adiós.

Vestido con un elegante traje gris, de zapatos marrones y un anillo de brillantes, el astro contestó una pregunta tras otra acerca del anuncio que, si bien no sorprendió al mundo, dejó mucha tela que cortar.

El semblante de Bryant fue bueno. Sonrisas, sus voz subiendo en tono y ritmo. Un jugador acostumbrado a susurrar, el micrófono de la ocasión esta vez no sería necesario. Tenía la atención de todos, y al mismo tiempo el “24” quería que lo escucharan.

Horas antes había publicado un poema en The Players’ Tribune, dedicándole su despedida al baloncesto mismo. Las palabras estremecen, ya que Bryant cuenta cómo dejó el alma en la cancha en servicio del deporte que le cumplió su sueño y lo hizo feliz.

Titulares de los casi 25 minutos de conferencia sobraron, y Bryant respondió preguntas en inglés, español e italiano. El astro no quiso dejar a nadie afuera. A los casi 19,000 presentes en el estadio para el juego con Indiana se encargó de regalarles una carta, agradeciéndoles su apoyo infinito.

Written by ArleySr

Arley Londoño Hernandez, cerca de 40 años en las comunicaciones, mas de 27 en Estados Unidos, narrando y presentando deportes con las Cadenas Telemundo, CNN, Goltv y actualmente con Directv Sports...

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