First Jeter, Now Kobe…
Slowly but surely, another era in sports is coming to an end- first America’s favorite past-time, baseball, and now the game of hoops. Spanning the last two decades, few players have dominated basketball quite like Kobe Bryant- serving as the face of the sport behind the likes of Shaq, Lebron and Michael Jordan. Perhaps one of the most controversial players in the league throughout his time, the Black Mamba remained a critical component driving the LA Lakers to NBA championships, personal MVP titles, breaking records and countless victories. Allegations aside, fans cannot deny his tremendous athletic abilities and passion over the course of his career.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement regarding Kobe Bryant’s announcement:
“With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game. Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant talks about his decision to retire at the end of the season.
“I join Kobe’s millions of fans around the world in congratulating him on an outstanding NBA career and thank him for so many thrilling memories.”
In a classy move, the All-star presented a hand-out letter to every fan in the Staples Center prior to Sunday’s November 24th Laker Game, it read:
When we first met I was just a kid.
Some of you took me in. Some of you didn’t.
But all of you helped me become the player and man in front of you today.
You gave me confidence to put my anger to good use.
Your doubt gave me determination to prove you wrong.
You witnessed my fears morph into strengths.
Your rejection taught my courage.
Whether you view me as a hero or villain, please know I poured every emotion, every bit of passion and my entire self into being a Laker.
I knew that each minute of each game that I wore purple and gold.
I honor it as I play today and for the rest of this season.
My love for this city, this team and for each of you will never fade.
Thank you for this incredible journey.
The moment the news broke, hours before Sunday’s Staple Center event, some fans dropped everything, purchased ticket and catapulted to the arena.
Since the announcement of Kobe Bryant’s retirement and “Dear Basketball” letter released to the Players’ Tribune, the news is not only a trending sports related discussion, but the non-stop posts are going viral too! However, no one anticipated the quality, embossed paper, originally sealed inside of a black envelope to be listed on eBay for as much as $1,000.00 and said to be at a climbing worth. As of Monday afternoon, copies of that letter have flooded our newsfeeds. In Jordan like fashion, Kobe Bryant bids farewell with dignity and much praise.
We wish him well his final season!
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