Kobe Bryant's decision to retire brings to a close one of professional basketball's most storied careers.
But it also gives the Lakers, mired in one of their worst seasons ever, a big gift and hope for a new era: Bryant's $25-million salary is coming off the books, allowing Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak to go shopping for some free agents with money in his pocket, raising hopes that the team can return to its former glory.
In fact, the Lakers have only seven players under contract next season for a total of $26.3 million. NBA team payrolls will spike to about $90 million thanks to a lucrative new national TV deal, so it's hard not to envision Lakers executives smiling a...
Lakers star Kobe Bryant is set to play Sunday for the first time since suffering a torn Achilles' tendon last season.