For the past few seasons, Kobe Bryant has been sidelined with a slew of injuries. He has missed 123 games in the past two years due to his injuries, but he always pushed through and made his way back to the court to play with his LA Lakers teammates. But now, Bryant has decided to hang it up. The Black Mamba has announced that he will retire after the 2015-2016 season.
The 37-year-old released a statement, which is a poem titled “Dear Basketball,” to The Players’ Tribune to reveal the news.
“I can’t love you obsessively for much longer. This season is all I have left to give,” he wrote.
Bryant was drafted in 1996 and has won five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals and has been selected for the NBA All-Star game 17 times. He has scored more than 32,000 points during his career.
Read his “Dear Basketball” poem below.
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.