Have you heard the news? Kobe Bryant’s retiring! Hard to believe, what with the lack of media coverage, but it’s true. Kobe Bean is not long for the NBA, but before he made his official announcement, he toyed with the idea of playing overseas. As for where he’d play, the club of his father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, has some thoughts on that.
Viola Reggio Calabria is the Italian team for which the elder Bryant still holds the all-time single-game scoring record with 69 points, and they want desperately for the younger Bean to while away his sunset years in their jersey. It’s a romantic idea — he gets to ease back on his psychotic work schedule, jack up a few shots every game wearing the jersey of his father, but spend most of his time enjoying the south of Italy. Viola, in an open letter to Kobe, play up that romantic quality in a way only a passionate Italian can. Here’s a sample:
“Dear Kobe, from the beaches of Gallico to the vast Ionic lands, your entire city has proudly watched you in your yellow and purple NBA jersey, with your number 24 — from the Draft in 1996 to the last second on the court in 2016, we have and will shed tears of joy and sorrow.
In 20 magnificent years you have given us an idea of what basketball can do, from the beach shores to the arid desert.
Dear child of Reggio Calabria, fantastic Kobe, on this most beautiful stretch of land that is full of affection for you we close our eyes and dream. It doesn’t matter if it is just a dream because not many can even afford to dream it.
Damn, that is some seductive stuff. It’s hard to imagine Kobe will continue to play after such a big deal is being made of his retirement, but damned if Viola doesn’t make it sound appealing.
(Via TMZ Sports)