The Black Mamba is hanging it up for good. In a simple, yet stirring poem posted online, Kobe Bryant announced that he would be retiring after this season—his 20th in the NBA.
It’s hard to forgive Kobe for what he did to the Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals, but boy, can I respect it. What he has accomplished since entering the league out of high school is nearly superhuman.
Five-time NBA Champion.
Seventeen-time NBA All-Star.
Two-time Olympic Gold medal winner.
The list goes on-and-on. Kobe Bryant cemented his status as a superstar when he entered the pros, creating a highlight reel each and every night that he hit the court. Age may prove his humanity, but his larger-than-life persona and otherworldly skillset will define his everlasting legacy.
As Orlando Magic fans, Kobe, we’ve seen you terrorize us every single season. Your Lakers lured away Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard, two enormous stars that outgrew the confines of this town. Frankly, you can’t leave soon enough.
But as basketball fans, we’re sad to see you go. You’re unequivocally one of the greatest to ever step on the court.