Kobe Bryant
Dear Basketball
Dear Basketball
From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
Game-winning shots
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