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Kobe announces his retirement at end of 2016 season!

November 29th, 2015 | by Van Coleman

Kobe Bryant, like all great athletes had to reach that point where it is time to end their career and head into unchartered waters that comprise “The Future!” Kobe decided to make that decision and announced it online in a letter at “Players Tribune”..He wrote the letter to the Game of Basketball. His reason for why now?

“But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer,” Bryant wrote. “This season is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

“And that’s OK. I’m ready to let you go.”

He told the press after last night’s loss to Portland, that he has known that he was going to retire for some time.

“I’ve known for a while,” Bryant said. “A decision like this, you can’t make that decision based on outside circumstances. It has to be an internal decision, and finally I’ve decided to accept that I can’t actually do this anymore, and I’m OK with that.

“It takes a weight off my shoulders and everybody else’s.”

According to ESPN…Kobe Bryant is one of just four players in NBA history with 25,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 6,000 assists in his career along with Oscar Robertson, John Havlicek and LeBron James. He has scored 32,683 points and counting, but has had more than his share of accolades and accomplishments, as noted by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a statement he released last night.

“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,” Silver said. “Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.”

A love that kept him motivated to return to the game he loved eventhough he missed over 123 games the past two seasons, but love alone was not enough, as his body no longer can do what his mind tells it to do….He, unlike many before came to that realization early this season, and felt that it was time to move on to whatever the future holds!

For me, I will always remember the time his Dad Joe and I sat court-side in Myrtle Beach and watched as Kobe dominated play at the Beach Ball Classic in December, 1995, and then, we were joined by Kobe to discuss whether he should go to college or make the jump to the NBA. Going over the points of what that jump would entail, and the desire of a young, albeit Great talent< who had only one desire to play the game of basketball at its highest level! Something he has done for the past 20 years, as he returned that love for the game in his play for the Lakers and the enjoyment of all who’vew watched him play the game!

“Good Luck Kobe on whatever the future may bring and thank you for those moments of greatness that make being involved with the game so enjoyable.”..Van

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