As Kobe Bryant makes his victory lap around the country’s arenas after announcing his retirement earlier this week, Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts got a chance to go one-on-one with the Black Mamba.
Robin immediately asked him, “Why now?”
His response? “It’s the right time, there’s no point in belaboring it.” Kobe held strong that it’s better he make the decision than have any outside influences make it for him.
When asked how he knew it was time, Kobe revealed that the decision came during his daily 15 minutes of meditation in the morning. Normally, his mind would constantly drift towards the game, but lately it just wasn’t happening anymore. And that’s when he realized the end was near. However, the thought had been in his mind for the past three years, and Kobe claims it only popped into his head after his career-altering Achilles injury. He then trained hard, came back the next season, and fractured his knee. He then trained hard again, came back, and tore his shoulder. Despite the injuries, Kobe is grateful to have been a Laker for 20 years.
The fact that he stayed with the Lakers his entire career means the world to him, especially since he was a diehard Lakers fan growing up, with Magic Johnson posters and t-shirts filling his room.
He spoke on his decision to address his retirement in a poem, and while he still doesn’t think the poem does it any justice, he felt the need to speak to fans directly to make sure they know how much they mean to him. “We grew up together and that is such a beautiful thing,” he said.
Robin then asked who would make his list of the top five basketball players of all time, and after refusing to name himself, he referenced the people he learned from: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Jerry West.
Despite all of his success, he’s only got one regret – not having eight rings.
Watch a clip of the interview above and stay tuned for part two, set to air on Good Morning America tomorrow.
SOURCE: GMA | VIDEO SOURCE: Twitter, GMA
It Was Written: NBA All-Stars Before The Glory (PHOTOS)
40 photos Launch gallery
1. Mid major splash: Steph Curry, 2008.
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2. "Happy Valentine's Day." Chris Paul feeling romantic vs. Duke, 2005.
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3. Chris Paul vs. Maryland Terrapins, 2004.
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4. Pau Gasol training for the Athens Olympic Games in San Fernando, South Spain, 2004.
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5. Pau Gasol congratulated by NBA Commissioner David Stern after being selected as the number three pick by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2001 NBA Draft.
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6. Kyle Lowry during a game against Rutgers University Scarlet Knights, 2005.
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7. John Wall celebrates during a game against the Louisville Cardinals at Rupp Arena, 2010.
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8. Safe to say the Celtics regret passing on this one: Kobe Bryant Pre-Draft workout, 1996.
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9. The Real 6God: GM Jerry West and Head Coach Del Harris introducing Kobe to the world, 1996.
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10. Kobe following The Big Aristotle, before the break-up, 1996.
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11. DeMarcus Cousins in a pleasant conversation with Kentucky Coach John Calipari, 2009.
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12. DeMarcus Cousins objects to a call during the 2009 Jordan Brand All-American Classic.
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13. Jeff Teague yams against the Duke Blue Devils, 2008.
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14. Skinny savage: Kevin Durant during his Montrose Christian High School days, 2005.
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15. Cold-blooded KD demoralizes the Kansas Jayhawks and fans, 2007.
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16. He's been wet for a minute: Klay Thompson quiets the crowd at Kansas State, 2005.
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17. James Harden makes Arizona State relevant again, 2009.
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18. James Harden makes it hard to watch for Miami Heat fans, 2011. Four years later, 2015 MVP front runner.
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19. The goatee is everything: Marc Gasol during the World Basketball Championships in Japan, 2006.
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20. This shot probably went in? Russell Westbrook vs. USC Trojans, 2007.
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21. Russell Westbrook demoralizing Yale, 2007.
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22. Future All-Stars Al Horford & Joakim Noah during another title run, 2005.
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23. LaMarcus Aldridge celebrates en route to defeating the Texas A&M Aggies in the Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament, 2006.
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24. Greatest Power Forward in NBA history, 1995.
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25. Chris Bosh with Georgia Tech, 2003.
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26. The Chosen One, LeBron James.
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27. Bron Bron, best high school basketball player of all time.
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28. Carmelo Anthony during the 2002 McDonald's boys High School All America Game at Madison Square Garden.
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29. Greatness manifested: Melo celebrates his team's win over the Oklahoma Sooners during the NCAA Tournament in 2003.
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30. Young Dirk Nowitzki during a German League game in Wurzburg, Germany, 1998.
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31. Goofy Dirk at his parents' house in Wurzburg, Germany, 1996.
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32. One German legend to another, Detlef Schrempf vs. Dirk, 1999.
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33. San Antonio Spurs legend Gregg Popovich being restrained by this year's Eastern Conference All-Star team coach Mike Budenholzer after Pop received a technical foul, 2000.
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34. Western Conference All-Star team Coach Steve Kerr during his championship run with the Bulls, 1998.
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35. Dwyane Wade against University of Missouri during the NCAA Tournament, 2003.
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36. Flash drives past Kansas Jayhawks player during the semifinal of the NCAA Tournament, 2003.
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37. Kyrie Irving during the 2010 Jordan Brand classic.
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38. A sign of things to come, Kyrie Irving, 2010.
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39. Anthony Davis in the 2011 Jordan Brand All-American Classic.
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40. Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari motivating The Unibrow.
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