End of an Era: NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant Announces Retirement

Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant announced that he will call it quits at the end of the current NBA season.

The Los Angeles Laker player wrote a poem on Players Tribune regarding his plan to retire. According to Bryant, “This season is all I have left to give.”

The website crashed right after and is still down as of posting time. Here’s a copy of Bryant’s poem.

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,


In one part of the poem, he explained why he is leaving saying that it’s “time to say goodbye.”

Bryant also posted the following on Twitter:

Kobe Bryant retires

To all basketball fans out there, we all feel you! It’s the end of an era.

Who do you think will fill Kobe’s basketball-shaped hole in our hearts?