Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant Retires

The Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, is officially retiring after almost 19 years of playing in the NBA, and he is planning to be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers organization instead. Bryant, also known as the Black Mamba, was selected for the All- Star Game a total of 14 times, named Finals MVP twice, held the NBA record for 12 threepointers made in one game, has won two gold medals in the Olympics, became the Lakers alltime scoring leader while playing for them, and won five titles during his entire career.

On top of all these achievements, Bryant entered the NBA directly from high school, while most players enter through playing college basketball. He quickly became one of the top players in the country. Soon into his career, he began winning records and championships, and he earned his prestigious reputation by scoring 81 points, the second most ever scored in an NBA game.

Bryant announced his retirement by writing a poem titled “Dear Basketball,” to all of his fans on Nov. 29, and it was published in the Players’ Tribune. The poem is dedicated to his love and passion for basketball. He starts and ends his poem with the memory of rolling up his dad’s socks and shooting imaginary game-winning shots.

“I’m ready to let you go. I want you to know now so we both can savor every moment we have left together,” Bryant said in his poem.

As a kid, Bryant looked up to Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Jerry West, and Michael Jordan because of their dedication to basketball. He was inspired as a child and wanted the skills they had, which he eventually achieved as years passed. During his years of playing, especially with injuries in the way, Bryant tried to have at least 15 minutes to meditate on his thoughts in the morning. He says that while he is thinking, his mind somehow always ends up on the game.

“He’s always striving to be the best, and I appreciate him for giving it all he’s got in every game. He is a true winner,” sophomore Malik Hamida said.

The Laker team has not discussed Bryant’s future position with the team. The NBA rules do not allow sports teams to sign a future career deal with current-day players, so they will have to wait until Bryant is officially off the team. NBA player, Kevin Durant, describes him as the Michael Jordan of this generation and a phenomenal player.

Most people know Bryant as an inspirational, wise, and skilled basketball player. Having the reputation of winning gold medal awards and playing in All-Star games, Bryant will be missed on the court by his fans and teammates. Although he is retiring, Bryant will continue be known for his achievement in the NBA.