Kobe Bryant announced that he will retire at the end of the 2015-16 season on Sunday. In a post on the Player’s Tribune titled “Dear Basketball,” Bryant wrote in a poem that this season would be his last.
“My body knows it’s time to say goodbye,” Bryant wrote in the poem that doubles as a love letter to his favorite sport.
He ends the poem with a poignant image:
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
After the game, Bryant summed up his decision in a few words, “I don’t want to do this anymore and I’m okay with that.”
By all accounts, including Bryant’s, he was very much at peace with his decision. It was mildly surprising but didn’t shock anybody. Bryant, 37, is shooting an abysmal 30.5% this season not to mention 20.2% from three-point range. While he will always be one of the greatest and competitive players and athletes that the world has ever seen, Kobe is ready to move on from his role on the court.
Watch Kobe Bryant’s retirement press conference below: