Kobe Bryant to Retire: Twitter Reacts to Lakers Star’s Announcement

Between Kobe Bryant's performance and injury issues over the last few years, most expected this to be his final season in the NBA.     

The Los Angeles Lakers star announced in an open letter on the Players' Tribune that he'll retire at the end of the 2015-16 campaign:  

Bryant also wrote an open letter for fans (via Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press):

The Lakers provided the letter to every fan attending Sunday night's game against the Indiana Pacers:

ESPN The Magazine's Don Van Natta Jr. argued Kobe is still unable to escape Michael Jordan's massive shadow even as he pens his retirement letter:

"Sad. We talked about it last night," said Lakers head coach Byron Scott, per the team's Twitter account. "I told him it kind of shocked me when he told me."

Scott also reminisced about Bryant's career:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (via the NBA's Twitter account) provided a statement on the news:

On Sunday's edition of NBA Game Time, Brent Barry and Rick Fox, the latter of whom played with Bryant on the Lakers, reacted to the news:

Shaquille O'Neal, Bryant's most famous teammate given their up-and-down relationship in Los Angeles, took the time to wish Bryant well in retirement:

Pau Gasol, who helped Bryant win two more championships after O'Neal's departure, also paid tribute to Bryant:

Watching Kobe this year has been somewhat depressing for basketball fans everywhere. The greatest scorer of his generation, now 37, entered Sunday averaging 15.7 points a night on 31.5 percent shooting. Rather than adjusting his game to deal with the effects of old age, Bryant remains the same high-volume shooter he was in his prime, and the results have been predictably disastrous.

Still, Sports Illustrated's C...

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