Kobe Bryant called Michael Jordan this summer to reveal retirement plan

LOS ANGELES -- This past summer, Kobe Bryant reached out to the player to whom he has long been compared: Michael Jordan.

Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers star, had something he wanted to tell the legendary former Chicago Bulls guard.

"This is it," Bryant said.

The 37-year-old Bryant recounted the story Sunday when he publicly announced he would be retiring at the end of this season, his 20th in the NBA.

"[Jordan] is actually one of the first people that I told over the summer," Bryant said Sunday. "We've been in frequent contact."

Bryant, speaking after the Lakers' 107-103 loss to the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center, said he asked Jordan when he knew he wanted to retire.

"We had some laughs, went back and forth about it," Bryant said. "But the important thing for him, he said, 'Just enjoy it. No matter what, just enjoy it. Don't let anybody take that away from you, no matter what happens, good or bad. Enjoy it, man.'"

Lakers coach Byron Scott said he considers Bryant to be "right there with MJ" in terms of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history.