Kobe Bryant Writes a Poem About How He’s Retiring

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Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on February 11, 2011.
Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Thirty-seven-year-old Laker Kobe Bryant will retire after this season. How do we know? He wrote a poem about it.

Bryant published the poem, called “Dear Basketball,” on the Players’ Tribune on Sunday night. Here’s the most pertinent passage:

I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
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.

Bryant’s poetry is unlikely to earn him $25 million annually.