He loves the game too much.
Kobe is either loved or hated, there's rarely an in-between with him. He's the best player of his generation and serves as an elder statesman that bridges the gap. His presence is important. Whether it's giving the media quotes or schooling the youth, Kobe retiring (especially like this) will definitely hurt the league. He plays in the second largest market for arguably the league's premier franchise. The game needs him more than he needs the game. But all that comes second. He loves the game too much to go out like this. I fully expect Kobe to come back and be great again. If anyone can will themselves to greatness, it's Kobe. -Angel Diaz