It’s officially the end of the road for Kobe Bryant. After 20 years in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, the basketball legend announced that the 2015-16 season will be his last.
Kobe Bryant, 37, has decided it’s time to hang up his jersey and retire with basketball greats of the past. The Los Angeles Lakers star announced he will be retiring from the NBA after this season on Nov. 29, posting a heartfelt ode to the game on The Players’ Tribune website and saying “this season is all I have left to give.”
Kobe’s announcement is a heartbreaking one to basketball fans everywhere, especially Laker fans, as he has helped carry the Lakers to five championships in his 20-year career. His retirement may be even more tough to take if the Lakers’ season doesn’t turn around — they are 2-13 in their first 15 games. But now that Kobe has officially decided this season is his last, we’re sure he’ll be determined to get his team back on top before he throws in the towel!
Even if his last season doesn’t end up being his best, Kobe is still leaving behind quite a legacy. In his career, Kobe has scored more than 32,000 points — including an 81-point game — which has earned him 17 All-Star selections, five championship rings, and two Olympic gold medals. Read Kobe’s piece titled “Dear Basketball” from The Player’s Tribune below.
From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
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,
Are you sad that Kobe is retiring after this season, HollywoodLifers? What’s your favorite Kobe moment of all time? Share your thoughts below!