KOBE Bryant last night spoke at an emotional press conference, just hours after announcing his retirement.
Arriving at the Staples Center for the first time after revealing his shock decision, the Lakers Legend told how he was “at peace and excited for what is to come.”
But during the 25-minute conference, the 37-year-old was visibly emotional as he spoke about the tough decision it had been to quit the game.
He said: I have talked to some of the players and been fortunate enough to know some former players, to call them and get their perspective on what they went through.
“But ultimately this decision I had to make. What do I think? What do I feel?
“Do I want to play or don’t I?
“It’s a very simple question but a hard question to ask yourself and the reality is if I had the burning desire to continue to play, I would.”
Asked what the hardest part about retiring was going to be, he replied: “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 round next year and I am not there, then the question becomes a little easier to answer.
“But right now, I honestly feel really at peace with it.”
Earlier in the day, the basketball world was left stunned when Kobe revealed the 2015-16 season would be his last wearing purple and gold.
After joining the club when he was 17 in 1996, Kobe played 20 seasons with the club and won five NBA titles.