Reaction continued Monday to the news that NBA superstar Kobe Bryant is retiring after the end of this season.
Bryant announced his retirement on a player tribute website on Sunday saying “my heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
He addressed media after Sunday’s defeat against the Indiana Pacers telling them he made his decision “a while ago.”
Bryant has played for the Los Angeles Lakers his entire career and has won five championships with the team.
“With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement posted on the league’s Facebook page.
“Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.”
Second year business accountant student Andrew Byone said all great players must come to a point where they can no longer play anymore.
“The Lakers have been losing the last little while, once he leaves it gives them an opportunity to rebuild properly,” said Byone.
He adds that it’s to much work trying to accommodate a player who’s older and injured.
Aycha Hamaoui, an assistant coach of the women’s basketball team at Humber College in Toronto said Bryant has been injured a lot over the last couple of years.
“He’s already started taking himself out of the league that way,” said Hamaoui.
She adds Bryants retirement won’t have as much of an impact as Chicago Bulls legendary player Micheal Jordan announced he was retiring, despite being in good health.
Still, some Kobe fans remain strong believers and feel his leaving will leave a hole.
Jalen King, a first year arts and science student said Bryant retiring will have a big impact on the NBA.
“It’s definitely going to change the game.”
Bryant is the last player who has experienced an earlier time in the league with big names like Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal – and he has also played more recently with big names today such as Cleveland Cavaliers Lebron James and Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry.
One question already being asked: Will Bryant become a coach?
“I definitely can see him doing that because of his charisma,” said Hamaoui.
“He always led the team and made decisions and he has the mind for a coach.”