Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, of the Los Angeles Lakers announced on Sunday November 29th, that he would retire from professional basketball at the end of this season.
Bryant, widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history, made this announcement on The Players’ Tribune, writing that “this season is all I have left to give,” his 20th in the NBA.
The 37-year old has scored 32,683 points during a 20-year career with the LA Lakers to rank third on the NBA’s all-time list.
In a poem titled ‘Dear Basketball’, Bryant wrote: “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.
“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.”
Bryant was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2008 and selected for the NBA All-Star team on 17 occasions.
He won titles with the Lakers in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010, and two Olympic gold medals for the U.S. in 2008 and 2012.