Kobe Bryant says he's not one for farewell tours. But by Bryant's own admission, the end of a legendary career could be coming sooner than later.
The Los Angeles Lakers are in New York to face the Knicks in what is potentially Bryant's last game at Madison Square Garden. At Saturday's shootaround, the future Hall of Famer addressed the media and admitted there are times when he questions whether he wants to continue playing basketball. And on the day in question, the answer was probably not:
"If you asked me today, this would be my last year. But you never know," said Bryant, who is in the final year of his deal with the Lakers. "We'll keep it open. Whatever happens, happens."
"The crowds, the chanting, people wanting to see me play – I'm extremely, extremely appreciative of that, I understand what that means. Listen, my personality isn't the rocking chair kind of thing, but the chanting of my name means enough to me."
At 37 years old and coming off of multiple injuries, Bryant acknowledged that recovering from a previous night's game is an all-day process for him. There's stretching and ice and massages and muscle stimulation and in-depth treatments where necessary. But, Bryant said, "If I wanted to keep playing, I could figure it out. "
From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
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,
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1
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