Kobe Bryant has announced that he will be retiring after this season. He wrote a first person story titled ‘Dear Basketball’ where he explained that his heart and mind can take the ‘pounding’ from the game but his body is telling him that it’s time to wrap things up. Over his 20 year career Bryant has led the Lakers to 5 championship rings, been selected as an NBA All Star 17 times, been named and MVP and won two Olympic gold medals. Coaches confirm that he will finish out the season with the team. He is the only player to be with the same team for 20 years. He will play in front of a hometown audience for the last time as he faces the Philadelphia Sixers at the Well’s Fargo Center tonight. He grew up in Ardmore, PA, a suburb outside Philly, and went to Lower Merion High School. Bryant’s dad played four seasons with the Sixers, but Kobe grew up rooting for the Lakers. When Kobe decided to go pro right out of high school the Sixers had the first round pick and ended up picking Allen Iverson. Kobe was drafted 13th and went to Charlotte. He was eventually traded to the Lakers where he triumphed for 20 years.