NBA commissioner Adam Silver has revealed his admiration for Kobe Bryant after the Los Angeles Lakers guard announced that he will retire at the end of the season.
Bryant confirmed on Sunday night that he will walk away from the game when he finishes his 20th season in the league, and Silver was quick to lead the tributes to the 37-year-old, who led the Lakers to five titles and was named finals MVP twice.
"With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game," Silver said in a statement.
"Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.
"I join Kobe's millions of fans around the world in congratulating him on an outstanding NBA career and thank him for so many thrilling memories."