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Kobe Bryant

Source: Walter Iooss Jr./The Players’ Tribune / Walter Iooss Jr./The Players’ Tribune

Los Angeles Lakers fan or not.

Kobe Bryant fan or not.

Basketball fans as a whole—and even those of us who enjoy sports from a distance—bowed our heads respectfully and saluted Kobe Bryant Sunday, when he released a beautiful poem on the Players’ Tribune announcing that he would be retiring from the game after this 2015-2016 season.

In the poem, Bryant described his introduction to the game and the love he’s had for it ever since.

From the moment

I started rolling my dad’s tube socks

And shooting imaginary

Game-winning shots

In the Great Western Forum

I knew one thing was real:

I fell in love with you.

He then spoke about what is causing him to retire. It’s the thing that causes most athletes to retire: their aging bodies.

But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.

This season is all I have left to give.

My heart can take the pounding

My mind can handle the grind

But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.

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source: The

The Most Heartfelt Celebrity Twitter Reactions To Kobe Bryant’s Retirement Announcement  was originally published on