In a stunning move, Los Angeles Lakers guard and Finals MVP Kobe Bryant has announced his retirement from the sport of basketball. Shortly after coach Phil Jackson made headlines by bolting to the crosstown Clippers, Kobe told the LA Times that he has "decided not to play anymore."
When asked why, the Lakers star responded, "Well, for several reasons. First of all, I have pretty much done all I wanted to do. I have been named MVP, won the Finals MVP award, won a finals without Shaq, became the second highest paid athlete in the world, heck, I even got to play in the Olympics. It just seems a little, well, dickish to hang around any longer. Second, I want to give other players like LeBron and my man 'Melo a chance to do something. And third, while playing at Disneyland, I suffered a bit of an accident."
"I was riding by myself on the Pirates of the Carribean while all the grown-ups were having lunch," Bryant explained, "and I got to this really scary part where everyone started firing guns at each other. I thought they were trying to hit me! After all, pirates love gold, and I have four championship rings! Anyway, this one shot got so close to my boat I capsized in fear of being shot. The boat hit me on the head and crushed my whole body. I would have drowned if the camera people hadn't have come and saved me." Added Kobe, "Even if I recovered in time to play this season, I would always be looking over my shoulder for the pirates wanting to steal my gold."
When asked if he was considering winning a title without Phil Jackson, Bryant replied, "Well, I was strongly considering it. I mean, Phil (Jackson) and I were really close so I knew it would never be the same. At the same time, the feeling of finally winning one without him seemed very tempting. But that was before I got injured. Now there isn't a chance I will keep playing, even if I wanted to."
"I want to thank all of my fans in L.A. and around the nation," the star noted tearfully. "They were the most important thing in the world to me, besides my money, car, fame, house, wife, and four NBA championship rings." When asked what he plans to do after basketball, he responded, "Once I get those pesky pirates off my back, I'm not quite sure. Maybye start my own business, devote more time to my family, or run for president- something like that. All I know is that I'm planning on taking a lot of cash baths in the future with my four championship rings."
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