Kobe told Scott he was retiring during a game
Byron Scott revealed Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant told him about his retirement decision during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Most of the world found out Bryant was retiring via a poem he wrote to the game of basketball, with the five-time champion and 17-time All-Star’s 20th NBA season to be his last.
Lakers coach Scott found out a different way – Bryant told him during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday,
“I said, ‘KB, I played you 20 minutes in the first half. I’m going to cut those minutes down. I’ve got to cut them down,'” Scott told ESPN.
“He said, ‘That’s good, coach. That’s all right. I’m going to announce my retirement after the game.'”
While Scott was understandably caught off guard, he says Bryant delivered the news rather matter-of-factly.
“It was so casual. It was kind of cool,” Scott said.
“[As a] matter [of] fact, he said, ‘You’re the first to know.’ He said, ‘Coach, you’re the first to know that I’m going to announce my retirement.'”
Scott added: “He was at peace when he told me.
“That’s the only thing I could say. During that game, when I was watching him and putting him [in the game] and taking him out, that’s the most relaxed and at peace that I’ve ever seen him.”
Bryant struggled in the first two games after announcing his retirement, scoring a combined 33 points on 11-of-46 shooting.
He had his best game since the announcement on Wednesday, scoring 31 points on 10-of-24 shooting in the Lakers’ 108-104 win over the Washington Wizards.