30 November 2015
BASKETBALL: Kobe Bryant Set to Retire After The Current Season..
Kobe Bryant is officially saying farewell to basketball. The 37-year-old NBA pro wrote a poem about his passion for the sport, which was posted on The Players Tribune Sunday afternoon. The website almost immediately crashed. In the emotional letter, Bryant announces that after his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, this will be his last.
He notes that basketball "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," he continues. "This season is all I have left to give." "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."
Read the full poem below:
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. Love you always.
Kobe Bryant, who has been struggling with injuries for the past five seasons, entered Sunday's game against the Indiana Pacers averaging 15.7 points per game on a career- worst 31.5 shooting percentage. ESPN reports that Bryant is in the final year of a two-year deal that will pay him $25 million in 2015-16, making him the NBA's highest- paid player this season. Following Sunday's game, Bryant will hold a press conference to discuss his retirement plans, as reported by L.A.Daily News Lakers beat writer, Mark Medina. All 18,997 fans in attendance of the game will receive a copy of Bryant's "Dear Basketball" letter. Kobe Bryant will have a press conference tonight after the game to discuss his retirement plans