Kobe Bryant’s impending retirement is dominating chatter at water coolers and barber shops across the nation. Especially since Bryant matched his career-worst 1/14 shooting performance against the Golden State Warriors last night. #EndofKobe
The hastag #EndofKobe has been trending for the last 24 hours. The pressure is mounting on Kobe Bryant to retire. Popular ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith feels it’s time for Bryant to walk away. “It’s a damn shame that Kobe has to go out this way. But it is over. There’s nothing he can do,” Smith said on ESPN First Take today. Smith added, “there was no point waiting till the end of the season.”
Bryant’s lackluster performance against Warriors was amplified since it was a nationally-televised game. As Bryant finished with a mere four points, his plethora of missed attempts including three airballs (watch video above) drew thunderous cheers from the Oracle Arena crowd. Use the hashtag #EndofKobe to discuss Kobe Bryant’s potential retirement.
Bryant is shooting an appalling 31.1 percent this season. Needless to say, Bryant is still not worried. “It’s been tough. (But) My shooting will be better. I could’ve scored 80 tonight. It wouldn’t have made a damn difference. We just have bigger problems,” a relaxed Bryant said after Tuesday’s embarrassing 111-77 defeat.
According to Bryant, his personal performances aren’t the reason for the Lakers’ woeful 2-12 record. “I could be out there averaging 35 points a game. We’d be what, 3-11? We’ve got to figure out how to play systematically in a position that’s going to keep us in ballgames.”
“It’s been tough. I just try to relax. Just got to stay calm in the eye of the storm. You can’t have bravado and enjoy the times and then have times like this and kind of cower away from it. You’ve got to take the lumps as well,” added the Black Mamba.
Bryant still has the support of Lakers coach, Byron Scott. “I got faith in Kobe that he’ll be okay.”
Earlier in November, Bryant said he was still undecided. “If you asked me today, this would be my last year. But you never know. I’m not playing anywhere else, no matter what. It’s just not going to happen,” said the Lakers icon.
— First Take (@FirstTake) November 25, 2015