Kobe Bryant Says Farewell to Basketball Through Player’s Tribune

By Patrick Barron,
Sports Business Writer

It is official; Kobe Bryant, age 37, will retire at the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season. Bryant will be capping off a legendary 20 year tenure with the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers.

Many people within the sports world knew he was soon to retire due to father time and a combination with a series of injuries. Kobe put the speculation to end on Nov. 29, when he posted a poem on the popular sports website, The Players Tribune titled “Dear Basketball”.

It should not come to a shock to anyone; Bryant played the most years with one team and is considered one of the greatest Lakers of all time. Five time NBA champion, two time NBA Finals MVP, one time MVP, seventeen time All-Star selection and two time NBA scoring champion are just a few of his accomplishments that he accumulated during his career.
Also, Bryant holds numerous records for the Lakers he is among the top in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks.

Bryant has created many memorable moments in the history of the NBA and never feared the game biggest moments. Although, some NBA fans dislike him because he denied their favorite team’s chances of winning, however, those same fans appreciated his work ethic and success.

Bryant’s poem described his love affair of basketball and the inevitable end. By six years old, his passion was deep for the game. He states in his poem, “I never saw the end of the tunnel. / I only saw myself / Running out of one.”

Bryant played the game with a lot of effort and his work ethic was second to none. He played for his favorite team the Los Angeles Lakers his entire career and gave his body to the game, sustaining many serious injuries in his career. Due to those injuries, that includes a torn Achilles tendon, Bryant saw that the end was near.

The Los Angeles Lakers have failed to surround Bryant with the necessary pieces to bid for a championship this year.

They are out of the playoff race and the organization have garnered criticism within the sports world. Bryant is not the same player he was ten years ago but fans will continue to watch Lakers games to see the player they love play out his last year.

There is no doubt that Bryant will be a first ballot Hall of Fame player at The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

In addition, to his NBA success Bryant played for the United States men’s basketball team appearing in two Olympic summer games, both 2008 and 2012, winning a pair of gold medals. Bryant had stated numerous times that he would like to end his professional basketball-playing career with the men’s team in summer 2016.

Early this season, Bryant’s poor play had many calling for his retirement but all of the sudden, his career is celebrated in every arena that he plays as fans want to see him one last time.

Fans should enjoy watching Kobe Bryant play the remaining games of the season and see a legend in his last stages.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, December 8th print edition.

Contact Patrick at
patrick.barron@student.shu.edu

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