NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans
Kobe Bryant will retire at the end of the 2015-16 season. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

One of the greatest players in league history has finally decided to call it quits. Today, Kobe Bryant announced his intentions to retire at the end of the 2015-16 season. In a poem titled, “Dear Basketball,” Kobe expressed his love for the game, while reaching the conclusion that it’s time to let go.

Prior to this season, I suspected Kobe’s 20th season would be his final campaign. With all of the wear and tear on his body (coming off two, season-ending injuries; Achilles, shoulder) coupled with the Lakers’ struggles, Kobe is no longer able to impose his will on the game.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors
Kobe is averaging just 15.7 points on 32% shooting this season. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

And for an all-time great whose overall psyche and confidence drives him to succeed, it’s a tough pill to swallow. Instead of dominating the competition and leading LA to victories, it feels as if Kobe is desperately trying to keep up these days.

Though Kobe is experiencing a rough season and the Lakers are now able to move into the future, it’s sad to hear of his impending retirement. An outstanding athlete, fierce competitor and complete basketball player, Kobe always did things his way…and accomplished tremendous feats in the process (17-time All-Star, 5-time NBA Champion, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist).

Hopefully, a few more “classic Kobe” moments are in store. His farewell tour starts in Philly on December 1st, where the legend of the Black Mamba truly began.

#DOFGAME #DOG

-Jabari J.

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