Kobe Bryant Will Retire From NBA

Morning headlines: Lower Merion grad, a surefire Hall-of-Famer, plays last Philly game on Tuesday.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant talks at news conference on why he decided to announce his retirement. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant talks at news conference on why he decided to announce his retirement. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today.

Lower Merion’s Kobe Bryant is retiring from the NBA after one of the all-time great basketball careers. His last Philadelphia game is Tuesday.

Bryant announced the end of his 20-year career Sunday with a poem posted at The Players Tribune.  “After two decades, two Olympic gold medals, five championship rings, 17 All-Star selections, an 81-point game that ranks as the second-best in NBA history and more than 32,000 points, Bryant’s career is officially winding down,” ESPN writes. He made his announcement just ahead of the Lakers’ game Tuesday night at Philadelphia — the last time he’ll play here. “It’s going to be beautiful,” Bryant said. “So much of my game was developed from Philadelphia.” USA Today says that as of Sunday night, the cheapest seats in the arena were going for $59. [ESPN | USA Today]

Donald Trump will headline a GOP fundraiser at the Pennsylvania Society weekend.

It’s a controversial choice, TribLive reports. “If you want to unite your party,” says one observer, “he’s not necessarily the best choice.” But it could be lucrative for the party: The dinner will be $1,000 a plate; individual pictures with Trump will cost $2,500. “I’m not going to support him, but I think that he’s colorful and a lot of people will come just to hear him talk, even if they anticipate he might say something crazy,” said Jim Roddey, chairman of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County. [TribLive]

Five Philly firefighters were hurt Sunday morning,” when their ladder truck struck parked cars.

“Authorities say Ladder 13’s cab, carrying a crew of five, was traveling westbound on the 5400 block of Baltimore Avenue when it struck four parked cars,” 6ABC reports. “In surveillance video, the big, red truck appears to slide to its right, slamming into the vehicles, which were unoccupied at the time of the incident. It also took down a utility pole.” The firefighters were treated for minor injuries; the investigation is continuing. [6ABC]

Mayor-elect Jim Kenney is starting a listening tour of Philadelphia, to gather citizen feedback before he takes office.

“Starting tonight, Kenney will hold a series of five town hall style meetings in the north, south, west and northeast sections of Philadelphia,” NewsWorks reports. “I think it’s always important that not only are we inclusive of every community and every neighborhood in the city, but that we listen to what people have to say,” Kenney said. Want to attend? The public is encouraged to RSVP online at Kenney for Philadelphia. [NewsWorks]

Chris Christie’s struggling presidential campaign has been endorsed by the New Hampshire Union-Leader.

“Gov. Christie is right for these dangerous times,” the paper’s publisher Joseph McQuaid wrote in an editorial. “He has prosecuted terrorists and dealt admirably with major disasters. But the one reason he may be best-suited to lead during these times is because he tells it like it is and isn’t shy about it.” CNN says, “The backing of the newspaper in New Hampshire’s biggest city is significant because the Granite State has been a central pillar to Christie’s strategy, and he has spent more time in the state than any other 2016er, hosting more than 30 town halls.” But Gawker — which notes that non-winners such as Steve Forbes and New Gingrich won the paper’s endorsement in previous elections — reminds us that Christie is still polling around 5.3 percent. [CNN | Gawker]

Other Philadelphia headlines:

As Tasco retires, her influence is as strong as ever

76ers’ Okafor Apologizes For Choices After Recent Fight

Flags lowered after Pa. police officer is fatally shot on disturbance call

‘Creed’ a Massive Box Office Success in Philadelphia

Follow @JoelMMathis on Twitter. Get morning headlines in your inbox: Sign up here.