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IATLANTA — Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant told coach Byron Scott last weekend that he would be announcing his retirement after 20 seasons in the NBA. According to Scott, Bryant also told him, “You’re the first to know.”
What has remained secret until now is how the 37-year-old Bryant delivered the news to Scott: during a game.
In an interview with ESPN on Friday, Scott revealed the details of that exchange, which he said occurred at the start of the third quarter of the Lakers’ 108-96 loss to the Trail Blazers on Saturday.
“I said, ‘KB, I played you 20 minutes in the first half. I’m going to cut those minutes down. I’ve got to cut them down,'” Scott said after his team’s morning shootaround ahead of their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. “He said, ‘That’s good, coach. That’s all right. I’m going to announce my retirement after the game.'”
Scott said he was stunned.