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Quoth the Mamba 'Nevermore': Why Kobe wrote a poem announcing his retirement

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Kobe Bryant announced on Sunday that this season would be his last in the NBA.

Kobe, who has always been known for his flair for the dramatic, broke the news to the world not at a press conference or through a team spokesperson, but rather in written verse.

In a poem posted to The Players’ Tribune, the Lakers legend writes a heartfelt goodbye to basketball, saying “this season is all I have left to give” and professing his passion for the game that he says drove him to play through the sweat, the hurt, and the jeers of his critics. Everyone who attended Sunday night’s game at the Staples Center against the Indiana Pacers also received signed letter from Kobe, thanking them for helping him become the player and man he is.

The Lakers’ guard has always had a flair for the dramatic, whether it’s his trademark fadeaway jumper, his storied love-hate relationship with the media, or his often logic-defying buzzer-beaters. While his place among the greatest players ever could be debated, it’s hard to argue his numbers: five NBA Championships, third all-time for points scored, and owner of the second-highest scoring game in NBA history from his 81 point effort in 2006 against Toronto.

In the spirit of poetry, we’re asking you to write us a haiku about Kobe.  Tweet us your best using #KobeHaikus and we’ll share the best on air!


Carol Muske-Dukes, former poet laureate of California

A Martinez, co-host of KPCC’s Take Two and host of Lakers Line on 710AM KSPN after Laker games