Kobe announced Sunday via the Players’ Tribune that this will be his final season. He did it through a letter called “Dear Basketball.”
You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dreamAnd 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 poundingMy mind can handle the grindBut my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
Kobe Bryant has been frustrated and he hasn’t been able to produce like he expects,
And that’s OK.I’m ready to let you go.I want you to know nowSo we both can savor every moment we have left together.The good and the bad.We have given each otherAll that we have.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement:
“With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game. Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.
“I join Kobe’s millions of fans around the world in congratulating him on an outstanding NBA career and thank him for so many thrilling memories.”
Few can come close to Kobe's resume: Five NBA titles, two NBA Finals MVPs, 15 time All-NBA teams, one MVP, 17 times an All-Star (and the All-Star Game MVP four times). And we could go on and on.
After 55,000 NBA minutes his body has quit on him, and where his mind is still willing the flesh is clearly weak right now.
Kobe has said he doesn’t want a “Derek Jeter Farewell Tour” but that will be the feel from here on out.