The NBA was taken aback on November 29 when Kobe Bryant announced, via an article on The Player's Tribune, that the 2015-16 season would be his last.
As it turns out, though, there was at least one man who knew of Kobe's retirement news 24 hours before the rest of the world - Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott.
The right moment
But, whilst you might expect the HC to have been kept in the loop well in advance, the circumstances in which Scott found out the news were not exactly normal, as he explained to reporters over the weekend.
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According to Scott, Kobe opted to drop the retirement bomb midway through the Lakers' Nov. 28 game against the Portland Trail Blazers:
"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. He said, ‘That’s good, coach. That’s all right. I’m going to announce my retirement after the game.'”
The idea of Bryant casually dropping in the news in such a matter of fact way is quite a juxtaposition to the media frenzy that would follow his Player's Tribune article.
And it certainly caught Scott unawares:
“I said, ‘What?!'” continued Scott, via ProBasketballTalk.
“That was the shock part. I was in that state for the rest of the game.
"Even when I was watching him play [and] I was watching him running up and down, I’m going, ‘Did he just tell me [that]?'”
NBA fans: Will you be sad to see Kobe go, or has he played on too long? Have your say in the comments below...