Kobe Breaks The Internet After Announcing Retirement On ‘The Players’ Tribune
In a letter entitled "Dear Basketball" that was published on Sunday afternoon The Players Tribune, Kobe Bryant announced that he will retire after this NBA season.
The announcement sent shockwaves across social media and the NBA community after continued questions about Bryan'ts retirement plans have been eschewed by the five-time NBA Champion and those closest to him. In fact, people freaked out so hard that they crashed The Players' Tribune website.
According to TMZ, the piece begins with Bryant reminiscing on his days as a child, falling in love with the game that would eventually make him a lifetime Los Angeles Laker and an American sports legend.
From the moment I started rolling my dad's tube sock and shooting imaginary game-winning shots ... I fell in love with you."
According to ESPN, he went on to detail the fact that while he can still handle the emotional and mental difficulties of basketball, but his body can no longer handle the physical ones.
"But I can't love you obsessively for much longer," Bryant wrote. "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."
TMZ also quoted the article as ending with this emotional farewell to his beloved game.
"I'll always be that kid with the rolled up socks. Garbage can in the corner, :05 on the clock, ball in my hands. 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1. Love you always, Kobe."
Damn, Kobe. The Black Mamba has been known as a great many things during his reign in the NBA: a fierce and unforgiving competitor being one of them. But overtly emotional is a side of Bryant that is rarely seen by media and fans.
Perhaps that's why he chose to pen a letter to the game, rather than speak directly to any of us. It's been clear from the very beginning of his career that for the 17-time NBA All-Star and future Hall of Famer, the only thing that mattered was basketball. He never wasted his time or ours trying to pretend otherwise.
It's only fitting that when Kobe finally made the decision to hang up his sneakers, basketball would be the first to know.
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