Kobe Bryant announced to the world in a post on the Player''s Tribune that he planned to retire following the 2015-16 NBA season. Bryant will have spent all 20 of his years in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, and for the majority of that time Mitch Kupchak has been his general manager. The long-time Lakers front office member spoke to the media about Bryant's impending retirement before the team's game against the Indiana Pacers.
"It's impossible to list what he's meant to the [Lakers] organization," Kupchak said, before listing off Kobe's various accomplishments. Does he expect Bryant to change his approach in his final season now that the news was official? "I gave up hoping he would change his approach like 15,18 years ago," Kupchak said while almost cracking a smile. "He is what he is. And I'm thankful for it."
Kupchak told the assembled media that he is not sure what role he would like to see Kobe play the rest of the year and has yet to speak with ownership or the coaching staff, but did say "I hope he has more fun, and appears less frustrated and also gets more appreciation... because people now have to recognize that this is his last year and that they are watching one of the all-time greats."
Quotes transcribed via Time Warner Cable Sportsnet