(CBS) Lakers star Kobe Bryant announced Sunday that he'll retire at the conclusion of the 2015-'16 season, writing in the Players' Tribune that, "This season is all I have left to give."
When Bryant leaves the game, we won't be missing just one of the best players in the history of the NBA. We'll also be without one of the most colorful, honest and quotable players the sport has seen.
With that in mind, here are 10 epic quotes from Bryant through the years that reflect intensity to self-confidence and everything in between.
"Smush Parker, with Tierre Brown as the backup. I'm taking 45 shots a game. What was I supposed to do, pass the ball in to Chris Mihm? Chris Mihm?"
"People who have very limited knowledge of sports always say, 'Passing the ball makes everyone better.' No. That's not it. That's not making them better. That's giving them an opportunity to be successful. If you want to make them better, you don't just hand them the ball. You inspire them to be the best version of themselves, and I do that by sharing things which are very personal to me, things I've struggled with, and letting them relate that to their own journey."
"Would people be celebrating me if I scored 138 points? You know how it is, some people would, some people wouldn't. They can all kiss my a-- as I'm sure he feels the same way. If you score 138 points, you kind of have a license to tell people to f--- off."
After Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested the Lakers could amnesty Bryant, he scored 38 points on Dallas:
"Even then, you could still play with one hand."
"I just got one more than Shaq. So you can take that to the bank."
On LeBron James' taking a big burden and shooting a lot during the 2015 NBA Finals:
"I would go 0-for-30 before I would go 0-for-9. 0-for-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you've just now lost confidence in yourself.'"
"I don't want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant."
"There's so much beauty in the pain of this thing. It sounds really weird to say that, but I appreciate the really, really tough times as much as I appreciate the great times. And it's important to go through that progression because that's when you learn about the self."
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