After a 20-year career playing Basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe will retire at the end of this season. Kobe Bryant says both his body and his passion for basketball have gotten weaker than him getting excited about his future. A future that will hold something else instead of a game he has played more than half of his life.

On Sunday, the popular basketball star made the announcement that Kobe will retire, saying he just had to accept that he didn’t want to play anymore and that he was fine with that knowledge. The crowd cheered him all during the game, which the Lakers lost 107-103 to the Indiana Pacers.

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Dear Basketball poem spells out that Kobe will retire

Bryant, 37, posted his decision for retirement in an article in The Players' Tribune Sunday, by authoring a poem called, "Dear Basketball." The poem spoke on how Kobe’s heart can’t take the pounding and his mind can’t handle the grind of the game anymore, and that his body understands it is time for saying goodbye. After the announcement, the website crashed due to overload.

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Kobe is the 3rd highest scorer in the history of the NBA and says that he has given all he has to give and will savor all the time that he has left to play, both good and bad until his retirement date. Kobe presented the news of his retirement to fans at the Sunday game in the form of a black embossed envelope with gold embossing handed out to every attendee. In it was a letter telling fans that what they did for him was much more than he did for them and that he knew each minute that he wore the purple and gold of his uniform.

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Longest tenure in NBA history

Bryant has had a very dramatic career, so the drama of the special envelope matches his basketball life. He has had five championship rings, as well as been selected as All Star seventeen times in his 20 years of play, thus having the longest tenure in the game with one team in all of NBA history. He went from his Philadelphia high school right to the Lakers in 1996 and inspired both players and fans.

Now, the basketball player of fame says that Kobe will retire, that the time has come to say goodbye, something he was asked after he was in rehab when he tore his Achilles' tendon, and now he knows the answer to that question, as the time is now.

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