Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is stepping away from basketball, retiring after this season.
Bryant, 37, announced his decision on Sunday with a poem published on The Player's Tribune. "I fell in love with you/A love so deep I gave you my all -/From my mind & body/To my spirit & soul," he wrote in the poem, titled "Dear Basketball."
"I'm ready to let you go/I want you to know now/So we both can savor every moment we have left together," he says. So many fans tried to read the poem that it crashed the sports website, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement shortly after Bryant's announcement.
Bryant has been playing for the Lakers since 1996 and has competed on the U.S. Olympic team in Beijing in 2008 and in London in 2012.
Read the full poem here.