Top Stories

NBA Star Kobe Bryant Announces He's Retiring After 20 Seasons with a Poem

NBA Star Kobe Bryant Announces He's Retiring After 20 Seasons with a Poem

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has announced that he is retiring from the NBA after his 20th season in the league.

“My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye,” the 37-year-old athlete wrote in a thoughtful poem in the Players Tribune titled “Dear Basketball.”

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Kobe Bryant

“This season is all I have left to give,” Kobe added.

After making the announcement, the Players Tribune website crashed.

Click inside to read Kobe Bryant’s full poem…

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.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1

Love you always,
Kobe

Just Jared on Facebook
Photos: Getty
Posted to: Kobe Bryant, Sports

JJ Links Around The Web

AKM/GSI
  • Alex Rodriguez is so into Jennifer Lopez - TMZ
  • Angelina Jolie is not adopting another child - Gossip Cop
  • Dove Cameron is spilling about Descendants 2 - Just Jared Jr
  • Jesse Williams is divorcing his wife Aryn Drake-Lee - Wetpaint
  • Oprah Winfrey shines in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Lainey Gossip
  • Get the scoop on Spider-Man: Homecoming - The Hollywood Reporter