Kobe Bryant announced that he will retire from professional basketball after the 2015-16 season in a Sunday afternoon post on the Player's Tribune. This was not the only way of reaching out to fans that Bryant had planned for his big announcement. Lakers fans in attendance at the team's Sunday night game against the Indiana Pacers will receive a personal thank you letter from Bryant, which his wife Vanessa shared a preview of in her latest Instagram post.
"Some of you took me in. Some of you didn't," Kobe begins, "But all of you helped me become the player and man in front of you today." Further down, Bryant makes it clear just how much his time with the Lakers and interactions with fans have meant to him. "Whether you view me as a hero or a villain, please know I poured every emotion, every bit of passion, and my entire self into being a Laker. What you've done for me is far greater than anything I've done for you."
Vanessa Bryant also shared her pride in Kobe's time with the Lakers. "You can walk away knowing you've always played with everything you have, babe. I'm so proud of you. I'm proud of everything you've given to all of your fans even when you weren't feeling your best."
As hard as it is for fans to imagine a post-Bryant Lakers' future after 20 years with the superstar shooting guard, it sounds like the Bryant's will miss his time in the purple and gold just as much as we do. You can read the whole letter and post here: