Kobe Bryant is Retiring, So Lets Send Him Off Right

There are few players that can excite a generation of fans with their electrifying play and passion for the game. I’ve always had a love affair with basketball, where players like Jordan could soar through the air or Iverson who revolutionized the crossover. But then there was Kobe whose flair and skill as a young teenager would catapult him straight to the NBA. My first memory of Kobe was watching him do a 360 dunk on a break away during his first NBA season. Just thinking about his battles as a young rookie challenging a player you might have heard of – Michael Jordan, sends chills down my spine. His fearless attitude and killer instinct will always stand out in my mind. I don’t know where Kobe will be placed among the top players, but in my book he’ll always be one of the greatest. Check out his goodbye letter and a highlight reel of  Black Mamba…

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.
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.

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,

Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves

Kobe Bryant-Hall of Fame-Highlights