“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” – Kobe Bryant

” I couldn’t spell, so the teacher told my mother that I was probably dyslexic,”It was like somebody took me and dropped me in a bucket … in a tub of ice cold water, because it shocked the * out of me.” – Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant just penned his Farewell to Basketball (also posted below) as he takes his final lap in the NBA. We’re grateful for Kobe sharing where he came from in Muse because he also mentioned his early challenges with dyslexia and the huge changes that came with of moving to the US in middle school.

Kobe Bryant is a 5-time NBA Champion, 17-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA team, one of the top NBA players of all time. It is gripping to see Kobe talking so frankly about his difficult in school and then his conscious decision “delaying the eruption” that helped him channel his anger into sports.

Congrats to Kobe for an amazing career. He’s inspired and mentored many people along the way including WNBA Rookie of the Year and Dyslexic Advantage International Ambassador Jewell Lloyd.

Dear Basketball,

From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
Game-winning shots
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,

Photo: Wikipedia