Tiger finding it tough to watch retiring Bryant struggle


Tiger Woods says it has been tough to watch the miserable season endured by retiring Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant.

Bryant announced his intention to retire from basketball at the end of the campaign on Sunday.

His decision will bring an end to a career in which he has won five NBA titles with the Lakers, who have reached the Finals seven times since drafting him in 1996.

The 37-year-old, 17-time All-Star has struggled so far this term, averaging just 15.5 points per game and shooting at only 30.5 per cent from the field.

Former golfing world number one Woods - no stranger to loss of form having failed to win a major since winning his 14th at the U.S. Open in 2008 - said of Bryant: "20 years in the NBA is more than 20 years in most sports.

"And at his position. I mean, he was a flier. You only have so many jumps in a body and on top of that only so many landings. And the last three years, he's gone through some pretty tough injuries.

"But other than the last three years, this guy was as durable as durable gets. And on top of that, he played both ends of the court. He played two Olympic teams, all the qualifiers - the guy played a lot of basketball.

"Five rings, maybe seven Finals, something like that. You add up all those games, it takes a toll on the body and eventually it just doesn't heal any more.

"And that sport is so fast and so athletic and so quick - it's just tough. It's been tough to watch him go through the season he's had and it's understandable - he's been in there for 20 years."