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The psychology behind deciding when and how to retire

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Even without Kobe Bryant, the first Lakers-Spurs game was the highest rated opening round game on ABC in a decade.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Even without Kobe Bryant, the first Lakers-Spurs game was the highest rated opening round game on ABC in a decade.

Lakers star Kobe Bryant heads to the operating room tomorrow, to fix a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

Lakers star Kobe Bryant heads to the operating room tomorrow, to fix a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

And yes, that's his shooting arm.

This injury is just the latest in a long line of woes for Bryant. He missed the playoffs in 2013 with a torn Achilles and broke a bone above his knee after playing just six games last season.

All of this has sparked a debate over whether it's time for the NBA's highest-paid player to call it quits.

But deciding when and how to retire involves many factors, said Ronald Riggio, psychology professor at Claremont McKenna College. He's written about retirement for Psychology Today.

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