Kobe Bryant announced he’ll retire next season from basketball. We saw it coming before three seasons. The Black Mambas days were numbered, with harms stacking up and with more time off the court than on.
Here is his letter in full length: Beloved Basketball,
In the second I began rolling my father’s tube socks And shooting fantastic Game-winning shots In the Great Western Forum I understood one thing was actual:
I fell in love
A love so deep I gave you my all — From my head & body To my nature & soul.
As a six-year old son Profoundly in love with you I never found the end of the tunnel. I just found myself Running out of one.
And 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 perspiration and damage 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 Living as you’ve made me feel.
You gave a six-year old son his Laker dream And I’ll always adore you for this. But I ca’t adore you obsessively for much more. This season is all I’ve left to give. My heart can take the beating My head can manage the grind But my body understands it’s time to say good-bye.
And that’s OK. I’m prepared to let you go. I need one to understand now So we both can savor every minute we’ve left together. The great and the poor. we’ve given each other All that we have.
And we both understand, regardless of what I do next I’ll constantly be that child With the rolled up socks Garbage can in the corner :05 seconds on the clock Ball within my hands. 5 …; 4 …; 3 …; 2 …; 1
Love you always, Kobe
To honor the guy that brought a fresh showtime to LA, we’ve assembled you his finest seconds to appreciate and recall the player he once was. Thank you Kobe.