LOS ANGELES, California –
Kobe Bryant has made an official announcement through his publicist, Michelle Conway, stating that he will retire after this basketball season, with plans to enroll in adult acting classes to pursue his dream of becoming a Hollywood star.
Conway said in the statement that Bryant has always loved playing basketball, but said that his lifetime dream is to be an actor. “Kobe wants all of his fans to know that he is very grateful for the overwhelming support he has received over the years, but he wishes to go after his lifetime goal of being an actor,” Conway announced. “He has awards and championship rings up the wazoo, but his dream is to place an Oscar on his mantle. He sincerely hopes that his fans will understand, and continue to support him by seeing any and all of his future films.”
Former teammate Shaquille O’Neal stated that Bryant always talked about being an actor after he finished his career in basketball.
“He was always talking about how he wanted to be an actor when he ‘grew up.’ I wish him the best, he was good at the game, but showbiz is a totally different beast,” O’Neal said. “I don’t expect him to have it as easy as I did, it just came natural to me, like basketball does, but like everything else, he will have to just do what he has always done and fake his way through it, aiming for that gold. He should be all right in flicks.”
Bryant’s former coach Phil Jackson said that he believes in Kobe. “If he just uses the tools he learned as a player and finds peace within himself, keeps his mind open, and forever trusts in Buddah, he shall never fail,” Jackson commented.