In short verses of unadorned language, Bryant recalled falling in love with the game of basketball as a child and growing up as a fan of the Lakers.
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 decision is not totally unexpected, given that he has said many times in recent weeks that he has considered making this season his last. After two decades, two Olympic gold medals, five championship rings, 17 All-Star selections, an 81-point game that ranks as the second-best in NBA history and more than 32,000 points, Bryant's career is officially winding down. With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, he is one of the greatest players in the history of the game. After playing in just 41 of 164 Lakers games in the previous two seasons because of a succession of injuries, he has looked like a diminished version of himself this season, producing poor numbers in most statistical categories. This shows that maybe it was time for the ‘Mamba’ to retire. The Lakers have 66 games remaining after announcement , and the remainder of the season will likely turn into an adoration tour of sorts for Bryant. Bryant is in the final year of a two-year deal that will pay him $25 million in 2015-16 and makes him the NBA's highest-paid player this season. He still remains in contention for a spot on Team USA's 12-man roster for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Being a Kobe fan myself among the millions around the world I would like to thank him for the greatness he brought to the game and for the many thrilling memories .