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Kobe Bryant sounds at peace with his decision to retire

Kobe is ready to hang up his Nikes.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Kobe Bryant spoke to reporters about his decision to retire following the 2015-16 NBA season after the Los Angeles Lakers 107-103 loss to the Indiana Pacers. Bryant announced his retirement in a poem on the Player's Tribune on Sunday afternoon, and fans in attendance at the Lakers' game that night received a personal letter from Bryant thanking them for helping him grow into the person and player he is today.

When speaking to reporters after the game Bryant, channeling his former head coach Phil Jackson, seemed very Zen about his decision. "It's a natural progression of growth & maturation," Bryant said (as transcribed by Serena Winters of Lakers Nation). "There's no sadness in that... "I see the beauty in not being able to blow past defenders anymore, you know what I mean?" In full Jackson form, Bryant even spoke about an old Jackson mainstay, meditation, and how a change in his thought process during those sessions helped him decide to retire:

As calm as he came off, Bryant did admit "if I said I wasn't getting a little emotional about it, I'd be lying. It's a little different when you know internally, 'This is it.'" He also spoke about his last time playing in his hometown of Philadelphia like the storyteller he wants to become:

Bryant's favorite moment of his long an storied career may surprise some who assumed it would be one of his much coveted championships. Not so, says Bryant:

Bryant also shared the advice about his final season given to him by the shooting guard Paul George compared him to on Sunday night:

You can watch the full video of the press conference here, and here is a happy shot to end on, of a smiling Bryant leaving Staples Center hand in hand with his family, seemingly fully at peace with his decision to call it a career after 20 seasons:

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