MX23RW : Friday, January 18 08:15:20

Kobe Bryant confirms retirement plans

Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant confirms that he will retire at the end of the current season.

Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant has confirmed that he will retire at the end of this season.

Bryant has been with the Los Angeles Lakers since being drafted out of high school in 1996, leading the team to five titles and being voted to the All-Star game on 17 occasions.

Injuries have disrupted the latter stages of his career, and the 37-year-old has made the decision many expected by announcing that he will walk away from the game when he finishes his 20th NBA season.

In a letter titled 'Dear Basketball' and published on The Players' Tribune, Kobe wrote: "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.

"And that's OK. I'm ready to let you go."

Bryant surpassed Michael Jordan to become the NBA's third highest scorer of all time last season, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone the only players above him on the list.


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