Five-times National Basketball Association champion Kobe Bryant announced on Sunday (November 29) that he will retire at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Bryant, who is struggling through the worst season of his illustrious 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, said in a poem posted on the Players' Tribune website that "I'm ready to let [basketball] go."
The 37-year-old guard, who is third on the NBA's all-time scoring list, has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons and has a career-worst 31.5 shooting percentage through his first 12 games of the current campaign.
In a poem titled "Dear Basketball," Bryant talked about shooting imaginary game-winning shots in the NBA as a young boy and falling in love with the game.
"But I can't love you obsessively for much longer. This season is all I have left to give," wrote Bryant.
"My heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it's time to say goodbye."