There are 5 seconds left in homeroom and you’re walking past the trashcan with a piece of balled up paper clenched in your right fist. You shuffle past the trashcan and push back, you release the paper ball aiming for the goal yelling, “KOBE!” This is a moment that most little boys, even little girls, have had. Shouting “KOBE!” when you put up a shot, is an affirmation. Whether you’re hitting a long shot from the half or one of those buzzer beating 3s.
Kobe Bryant has given his all to the game of basketball and many have studied his prowess. Ahead of the his famous No. 8 and 24 jerseys being retired tonight, Bryant has debuted an animated short film narrated by himself.
The short is based on his Farewell poem to the game in which in fell in love with.
Read along as Kobe tells his story of passion and dedication
From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
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 & body
To my spirit & 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 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.
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.
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
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1
Love you always,