Kobe Bryant officially announced that this will be his last year in the NBA on Sunday, but his mind was made up long before the season even got started.
As part of a lengthy press conference discussing what went into the decision, Bryant revealed that he had come to the conclusion over the summer -- and that Michael Jordan was one of the first people he called in order to break the news.
"[Jordan] is actually one of the first people that I told over the summer," Bryant said Sunday. "We've been in frequent contact."
"We had some laughs, went back and forth about it," Bryant said. "But the important thing for him, he said, 'Just enjoy it. No matter what, just enjoy it. Don't let anybody take that away from you, no matter what happens, good or bad. Enjoy it, man.'"
Bryant modeled his game after Jordan's, so much so that there are entire mixes devoted to showcasing the players making identical plays. We shouldn't be surprised that Jordan was near the top of Bryant's list when finally considering retirement after 20 NBA seasons. In fact, he's likely the only man Bryant would respect enough to listen to his advice.
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