In a turn of events that basketball fans anticipated but never really prepared for, Kobe Bryant announced his impending retirement at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season. Penning a love letter to the sport, Bryant shared a poem entitled “Dear Basketball,” where he admitted his “body knows it’s time to say goodbye.” As the news made its way around the Web, current and former players from the League took to social media to react.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement, heralding Bryant as “one of the greatest players in the history of our game:”
— NBA (@NBA) November 30, 2015
In addition to Silver, Bryant received well wishes from teammates and competitors, including Shaquille O’Neal, Rick Fox, Pau Gasol, Paul George, JR Smith and Allen Iverson. Bryant is the first player to have a 20-season run with a single NBA franchise. As he makes his victory lap, flip through reactions from his peers above.
Farewell, Black Mamba.