Basketball star Kobe Bryant says he will retire after this season
American professional basketball player Kobe Bryant has announced that he will retire from basketball at the end of this season which is scheduled to end in June 2016.
On Sunday, The Player's Tribune website published a heartwarming letter titled "Dear Basketball" in which Bryant he said, "I’m ready to let you go."
According to the Associated Press (AP), when the Lakers hosted the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night, fans expecting an unremarkable regular-season game for the struggling home team instead received a letter from Bryant in a black envelope embossed with gold.
"What you've done for me is far greater than anything I've done for you," Bryant wrote.
"I knew that each minute of each game I wore purple and gold."
Bryant, 37, told US media on Sunday, that he made the decision to retire "a while" ago.
"A decision like this, you can't make that decision based on outside circumstances. It has to be an internal decision, and finally I've decided to accept that I can't actually do this anymore, and I'm OK with that. It takes a weight off my shoulders and everybody else's," Bryant said.
With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals, Bryant has been hailed as one of the most decorated athletes in the history of basketball.
Bryant is also the only NBA player to spend 20 consecutive seasons with one team (The Los Angeles Lakers).