Kobe Bryant, who helped the Lakers win five NBA championships over a 20-year career that was spent entirely in Los Angeles, announced his retirement after this season on The Players' Tribune website, writing that "this season is all I have left to give."
The 37-year-old player wrote in the form of a poem that the sport gave a six-year-old boy his Lakers dream, and he’ll always love the sport for it. "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,” he added.
Bryant's decision is not totally unexpected, given that he has said many times in recent weeks that he has considered making this season his last. After two decades, two Olympic gold medals, five championship rings, 17 All-Star selections, an 81-point game that ranks as the second-best in NBA history and more than 32,000 points, Bryant's career is officially winding down.
Bryant didn’t also forget about his fans, on his letter he wrote; "What you've done for me is far greater than anything I've done for you, I knew that each minute of each game I wore purple and gold. I honor it as I play today and for the rest of this season. My love for this city, this team and for each of you will never fade. Thank you for this incredible journey." - by Shane Tanayer