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On this day: Kobe Bryant ends illustrious career with 60-point showing

LA Lakers great died earlier this year.

April 13 marks the four-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant's final NBA appearance.

LA Lakers great Bryant signed out with the type of memorable, bombastic performance he was notorious for – 60 points in a win over Utah.

Bryant died earlier this year in a helicopter crash at the age of 41, but will be forever remembered by the sport.

Such was Bryant's love for basketball, he wrote a letter to announce his retirement, 'Dear Basketball', which would win him an Oscar.

Here, the PA news agency looks back on that.

Dear Basketball,

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.

A love so deep I gave you my all – from my mind and body, to my spirit and soul.

As a six-year-old boy deeply in love with you, I never saw the end of the tunnel. I only saw myself running out of one.

And so I ran. I ran up and down every court, after every loose ball for you.

You asked for my hustle; I gave you my heart, because it came with so much more.

I played through the sweat and the hurt, not because challenge called me but because you called me.

I did everything for you, because that's what you do when someone makes you feel as alive as you've made me feel.

You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream and I'll always love you for it.

Tribute have been paid to Bryant following his death in a helicopter crash
Tribute have been paid to Bryant following his death in a helicopter crash (Kathy Willens/AP)

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.

I want you to know now so we both can savour every moment we have left together. The good and the bad.

We have given each other all that we have.

And we both know, no matter what I do next, I'll always be that kid with the rolled up socks, garbage can in the corner, five seconds on the clock, ball in my hands.

Five... four... three... two... one...

Love you always,

Kobe

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina115824
JapanJapan114520
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78419
AustraliaAustralia61916
Great BritainGreat Britain56415
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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