Farewell 24

Kobe Bryant announced his retirement from the NBA after playing for the Lakers for 20 seasons.

Kobe Bryant announced his retirement from the NBA after playing for the Lakers for 20 seasons.

Brooke Gagnon, Photojournalist

Kobe Bryant, after 20 seasons in the NBA, has finally announced that “this season is all I have left to give.”  On November 29th, 2015, Kobe Bryant released a poem, titled “Dear Basketball,” on the website, Players’ Tribune, to officially announce his retirement at the end of the 2015-2016 season.


Kobe Bryant, at the age of 37, had a remarkable, Hall of Fame worthy career. He was drafted 13th overall in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets at age 17. Then, he was immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. In Los Angeles, Kobe was the first NBA player to ever play 20 seasons with one franchise.


During the All-Star weekend, Bryant won the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, becoming the youngest player to be named the slam dunk champion at the age of 18. The following season, he also became the youngest NBA All-Star starter in NBA history. Bryant has since made 17 All-Star appearances. Kobe has lead the Lakers to five NBA championships, including a three-peat from 2000-2002 along side future Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal.


Outside of the NBA, Kobe has also played for the United Stated Olympic Basketball Team as number 10. He led them to gold medals in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics Summer Games.


Many fans are deeply saddened by the Los Angeles star’s retirement. Yorba Linda High School student Ashray Kapuria (11) said, “It’s sad to see such a great legend retire from the game. He was a great player that I admired. Honestly, I’m gonna miss watching number 24 play on the court.”


In honor of his final season, many teams are gifting the remarkable star with various items, like jerseys and video tributes, in accordance to how many opponents have often treated longtime stars of the sport. However, Kobe Bryant does not want any on-court ceremonies or gifts from rival teams this season.


Update: Currently, the Lakers are 8-31 this regular season and are in last place in the Western Conference. Kobe Bryant’s final regular season game of his career will be April 13th, 2016, against the Utah Jazz.