The speculation about Kobe Bryant's future is no more. He finally brought himself to admit the obvious Sunday: This season, his 20th in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, will be his last.
On The Players Tribune, Bryant wrote a poem called "Dear Basketball":
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
Bryant, who has won five NBA championships with the last coming in 2010, has battled repeated knee injuries and an Achilles tear. This season, he's averaging 15.7 points and 31.5% for a 2-13 team going into tonight's game with the Indiana Pacers.
The news prompted an immediate response from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:
“With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game. Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.
“I join Kobe’s millions of fans around the world in congratulating him on an outstanding NBA career and thank him for so many thrilling memories.”
Bryant's last appearance in D.C. vs. the Wizards happens Dec. 2 at Verizon Center.
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Let the trades begin.
The Charlotte Hornets are trading Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for center Timofey Mozgov, cash and two future second-round picks, according to league sources of ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowksi.
One of the two future second-round picks will take place in Thursday's NBA Draft, the other in 2021.
Howard, who is entering his 15th season in the league, had a $23.8 million expiring contract. He is changing teams for the third time in three years.
Mozgov, who did not see a lot of playing time in Brooklyn during the 2017-'18 season, had two years, $32.7 million left on his contract. The trade will save the Nets close to $17 million during the 2019-'20 season, opening up two max salary slots for free agency in 2019.
The deal can not become official until July 6th when the moratorium period ends.
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The Wizards will be heading across the pond next year to play a regular season game in London, England against the New York Knicks, the NBA announced on Wednesday.
The game is set for January 17 at the O2 arena in southeast London. It is usually used for concerts, but has become a popular location for NBA international showcase games. Last season, the Sixers and Celtics played there, also in January.
This will be the ninth NBA game played in England and the first for the Wizards. Washington point guard John Wall shared his reaction in the press release.
“It will be an honor to represent the Washington Wizards organization as we play our first game in the UK,” Wall said. “I look forward to connecting with our fans in London and using the experience to further bond as a team.”
The Wizards have several international players on their roster including Marcin Gortat (Poland), Ian Mahinmi (France) and Tomas Satoransky (Czech Republic).
The Wizards last played overseas in 2013 when they had a preseason game in Brazil. This is the first international regular season game in franchise history.
Majority owner Ted Leonsis also reacted to the news via the team's website.
“We are excited about the opportunity to play our first overseas regular season game in London next year,” said Leonsis. “The Wizards have a long tradition of playing international exhibition games and we love the chance to be global ambassadors for the game. We’re looking forward to getting the chance to play in front of fans in the UK.”
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