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Kobe Bryant Announces Retirement on Twitter

grantland.com
There's always some aura of drama surrounding the retirement of a top athlete. Historically, it's always been done at a press junket, and involved an awkwardly formulated speech, a bit of crying and a lot of camera flashes. It's a little bit different now, as Kobe Bryant has demonstrated by electing to announce his retirement on Twitter.



Well, more accurately, he actually did it on a website called The Player's Tribune, in the form of a poem, but it was publicised on Twitter. 'Dear Basketball' is, as the title suggests, written to directly address the sport, rather than the fans. He speaks of his childhood and all it's taken to get him to the colossal heights he's since achieved, but goes on to say that he has reached a stage where he's no longer physically capable of competing in the NBA.

Shortly after the tweet, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the page crashed, unable to handle the overwhelming influx of fans who wanted more details about the news. The site itself was set up by New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter, as a means for athletes to communicate more directly with their fans. This might not have been exactly what he had in mind, but it's doubtlessly the most popular post yet to appear on the site.

There have been rumblings about Bryant's impending retirement for a long time, he's given the Lakers 19 years of his life, since he was traded to them by the Charlotte Hornets shortly after the draft. That means that Bryant is tied with John Stockton for the third longest career in NBA history, the only players who have stuck around longer are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (20 years) and Robert Parish (21 years). For most of that time, Bryant has also been legendarily talented, and is often lauded as the second best player in NBA history, behind Michael Jordan.



Bryant likely won't be the last player to use Twitter as a means to retire, it is by far and away the most popular social media platform for sports news. Players have historically not had the best relationship with it, but this announcement was handled with dignity and poise, and the NBA themselves responded with a touching message to Kobe, thanking him for his time. What he'll do with his time now is unclear, perhaps he'll just go back to confusing Kanye West during motivational speeches.


Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Kobe Bryant Announces Retirement on Twitter Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, November 30, 2015 Rating: 5

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