After almost 20 years playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant has decided to call it quits. The 37-year-old shooting guard caused a sensation yesterday after he announced his retirement in — hands down — the most poetic way a pro baller has ever used: he literally wrote a poem.
Published yesterday on Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune, Bryant’s poem (which takes the form of a love note to basketball) essentially explained that the 5-time NBA Champion is past his physical prime and therefore must retire. Of course, most people watching the injury-ridden court leader play over the past few seasons could have told you that.
Had he retired even five years ago, Bryant’s place in the Hall of Fame would be all but assured. The first guard ever recruited out of high school, Bryants distinguished himself on the court in nearly every season he played, earning the distinction of NBA All-Star a whopping 17 times. While his legacy has been somewhat muddied with certain past legal allegations and the incessant rumors that he’s a bit of a prima donna, there’s absolutely no doubt that the basketball superstar has essentially dominated the NBA ever since he was drafted by the Hornets at age 17.
Lakers fans have only a few games left to catch the future Hall of Famer in action, a desire that’s been reflected in a sudden spike in ticket prices, which have risen by more than 200 percent in the wake of his announcement. No matter what you think about the man, in L.A., at least, it’s a sad day indeed.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) November 29, 2015
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