After struggling for the majority of this season to score at an even half way decent percentage, and telling the media on more than one occasion that he is struggling with the aches and pains his body is feeling with the nightly grind, today Kobe Bryant announces he will retire at the conclusion of this season from the NBA.
He will play out the remainder of the season, but realizing the Lakers are likely to conclude the year once again as bottom feeders, Kobe likely is making this announcement to begin the farewell tour early enough to enjoy the road trips for what they are. His last times stepping on the floor at the many arenas across the country.
Kobe’s announcement was done in a very creative way, by writing a letter in the form of a poem on The Players Tribune. The letter titled ‘Dear Basketball’, outlining his love for the game in the beginning, throughout, and even at the end of his playing days….
You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have. [Via Players Tribune]
Kobe was a once in a lifetime player for many of us. Although he will not be heralded as the greatest of all-time, unseating Michael Jordan, he will definitely be considered by most as the greatest of his generation, and a Top 10 all-time player.
Let us begin the farewell tour by saying, THANK YOU Kobe Bryant. Black Mamba. It was a heck of a run. Lethal scorer, proven defender. Multiple time champion.