On Nov. 30, (IST) in 2015, Kobe Bryant announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2015-16 season. He made the news public with a poem titled 'Dear Basketball' on The Players Tribune.
Here's a small extract from that poem:
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.
Since the announcement was made on the day of a Lakers' home against the Indiana Pacers, there was something special in store for the fans that attended that game - a copy of his 'Dear Basketball' poem and a letter directly from Bryant.
Kobe's retirement announcement that's being distributed to fans at the door tonight: pic.twitter.com/JQbqwRXdj5- Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) November 30, 2015
"What you've done for me is far greater than anything I've done for you," Bryant wrote in his letter to the fans. "I knew that each minute of each game I wore purple and gold. I honor it as I play today and for the rest of this season. My love for this city, this team and for each of you will never fade. Thank you for this incredible journey."
After the game in which the Lakers narrowly lost 107-103, Bryant opened up to the media about his decision.
"I've known for a while. A decision like this, you can't make that decision based on outside circumstances. It has to be an internal decision and finally I've decided to accept that I can't actually do this anymore, and I'm OK with that."
"With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.
That tipped-off one of the most, if not, the most memorable farewell tours in NBA history. Bryant finished off that farewell tour with possibly the greatest career finale in NBA history - a 60-point game in a winning effort.
Other notable events on Nov. 30:
- In 2003, Allen Iverson scores 32 of his season-high 50 points in the second half of a 98-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
- In 2008, Chris Duhon dishes out a career-high and Knicks franchise-record 22 assists in a 138-125 win over the Golden State Warriors.
- In 2017, Ben Simmons sets a record for the most free-throws attempted in a quarter with 24 as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Washington Wizards 118-113.
- In 2018, Kevin Durant erupts for a season-high 51 points against Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors but his effort goes in vain as the Warriors, without Stephen Curry, drop this overtime game in Toronto 131-128.
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