Over the weekend, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant announced that his 20-year NBA career will come to an end this season. Bryant has been facing injuries for several years, and the Lakers have not performed well without him. Despite his struggles, Bryant will still be paid $25 million this year, making him the highest paid player in the league.
There's a lot not to like about Bryant--his attitude, his ball-hogging, his personal travails--but I've always considered him one of the top-5 greatest players in NBA history. And outside of Michael Jordan, there's probably no one I'd rather have with the ball in the final seconds. But his basketball talents are not why he is part of today's post.
On the Players' Tribune website, Bryant has posted a poem, titled "Dear Basketball," in which he describes the game that has given him so much throughout his life. He offers a passionate description of the feelings that guided him as a six-year-old boy all the way to the hallowed halls of the Great Western Forum. The poem isn't exactly Robert Frost, but then again, I hear Frost couldn't stick the three or defend the screen-roll, so I guess it's a wash. Take a look at Bryant's form, and give him an extra point on the scoreboard for not using rhyme. Enjoy!