"This season is all I have left to give." So there it is. End the speculation: Kobe Bryant is going to retire — after this season.
The Lakers guard wrote a poem entitled "Dear Basketball" on The Players Tribune , Derek Jeter's athlete-generated media site which Bryant has partnered with in the past. In it, he wrote about everything basketball has meant to him and made very clear that he will be hanging up his sneakers after this season — which has gone rather poorly by his (or anyone's) standards.
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.
And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.