Kobe Bryant Announces His Retirement & Final LA Lakers Season

Kobe BryantAlthough the news came as no surprise, fans of Kobe Bryant around the world were heartbroken to hear that the legendary basketball player and LA Lakers' sports superstar will retire at the end of the 2015-2016 season.

Bryant is a 17-time all-star player, NBA's third-highest all-time scorer, a five-time champion and the 2008 MVP.

In an open poem and letter on The Players' Tribune, Kobe broke the news, writing:

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. Read the full letter here:

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