Kobe Bryant has announced that this season, his 20th in the NBA, will be his last. And with that, the popularity of the recently unveiled Nike Kobe XI just skyrocketed.
The 17-time All Star and five time NBA champion revealed his retirement plan via a poem which was posted on The Player's Tribune website.
You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
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 savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.
The news of Kobe's retirement is less shocking considering how poorly the Black Mamba, and the Lakers, have played this season. The 37-year old Bryant is averaging over 30 minutes per game, even with his recent string of injuries, and he's shooting a career-worst 31.5% from the field.
The Lakers will take on the Pacers tonight at the Staples Center, as Kobe's official 67-game count down begins.