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NBA: LA Lakers' star Kobe Bryant to retire after this season

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant says he still loves competition, but admits that his body can no longer handle the rigors of professional basketball as he announced on Sunday that this will be his final NBA season.

LA Lakers' Kobe Bryant. Pic/AFP
LA Lakers' Kobe Bryant. Pic/AFP

"I had to come to terms with it," said Bryant, speaking after the Lakers 103-107 loss to the Indiana Pacers in Los Angeles. "I had to accept the fact I didn't want to do this anymore."

The five-time champion will retire as one of the greatest clutch players in history, and after spending his entire 20-year career with the Lakers. "I have known for awhile. I am very solid with this decision," he said.

"If I had a burning desire to play I would. I don't want to get too Zen like. But my mind always started drifting toward basketball and it doesn't do that all the time anymore. To me that is the first indicator that this game isn't something I can obsess over much longer." Bryant has been nagged by injuries in recent campaigns and has struggled to find his form this season.

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