Kobe Bryant's retirement is getting closer by the day. The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard has just nine more games to go before he finally calls time on his glittering career.
With the days winding down, much of the talk has been about how the Western Conference franchise will deal with the absence of their main man from the past 20 years.
The 37-year-old led the Lakers to five championships in his career and will retire as one of the all-time greats.
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Following the loss to the Washington Wizards, their 58th of the campaign, Bryant spoke to reporters about the proverbial passing of the torch following his departure.
The 18-time All-Star insisted it was a not honour that was passed on, but something that had to be earned, and he did not believe any of the current roster had done that.
As per ESPN, he said: "No. If you have to ask that question, the answer is already there. Those are things you don't have to ask. Those things just happen."
The Pacific Division franchise have a number of exciting youngsters at their disposal, but they will have to go some way to match the levels set by the Black Mamba on the west coast.