Kobe Bryant Announces His Retirement in a Goodbye Letter to Basketball

The last three seasons have had their toll on Kobe Bryant, from the constant injuries to below .500 win percentages. Many of us entered this season, dying to know if this would be Bean’s last. He as deserves a proper farewell tour, akin to Derek Jeter a couple seasons ago. Well, it’s fitting that Kobe has taken to Jeter’s digital magazine, The Player’s Tribune, to announce his retirement following the 2015-2016 season.
In a goodbye letter to his first love, basketball, the Black Mamba comes to terms with his inability to perform at a high level, and as a result, his impending retirement. Now that it’s official, we’re anxious to see what the NBA and Nike have in store for the remaining five months of the season. We just hope he can stay healthy.
Dear Basketball,
From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
Game-winning shots
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:
I fell in love with you.
A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.
As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.
And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.
I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.
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.
And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the rolled up socks
Garbage can in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1
Love you always,

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