Not even the greatest basketball players of all time can stay in the NBA forever.
LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant announced last night that this season will be his last, meaning he will retire from the league at the end of the year. If the Lakers fail to make the playoffs, this date will be on April 13, at home against Utah Jazz.
The word illustrious is the perfect description for Bryant's career. The 37-year-old has scored 32,683 points and has won several accolades over a nearly 20-year span in the league, some of which include winning the NBA Championship five times, the NBA MVP award in 2008, and also being a 17-time NBA All-Star. Outside of the Lakers, he also won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA.
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He tweeted out a fitting tribute to all of his fans via The Players Tribute, a poem entitled 'Dear Basketball', reflecting on his NBA career with the Lakers.
He said: "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 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"
With no hint of what he is going to do next, fans are devastated to hear that this will be Bryant's last in the league, and many fans have thanked him for his services to the NBA.
Bryant is truly one of the best players the league has ever seen. A guaranteed Hall of Famer. There will never be a player like him in the NBA again.