Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant recently announced that the 2015-16 season will be his last in the form of a poem on The Players’ Tribune.
In response the the announcement, fellow great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has released a poem of his own via his column on Time.com. This poem also has to deal with the thought of retirement. You can read part of it below.
Check out the full version in his column.
“Dear Retirement from Basketball,
(for Kobe Bryant)
You don’t suck, retirement. I thought
You would. With no crowds to cheer.
No competitors to pump addicting adrenalin every day.
No satisfying sound of the ball swooshing through the net
Like a melon through silk.
No frown of frustration on your opponents’ faces.
No salty smell of victory as exhausted bodies
rush to the locker room.
I was wrong.
You gave me other gifts I wasn’t expecting. That final year
when each city I visited showered me with glory and gifts
and pure love. The fans cheered, stomped feet, battered hands,
not because I was scoring points in one last game,
but because they wished me well on whatever I did next.”
It’s not the best, but certainly isn’t the worst poem written. You can tell it comes from the heart, which is really all that matters with poetry. Retirement is coming for Bryant, and this great wants him to be treated as well as he has.