David Beckham has paid a glowing tribute to Kobe Bryant after the LA Lakers legend announced his retirement at the end of this season.
Bryant last night wrote in an emotional story titled ‘Dear Basketball’ that he will call time on his 20-year career in the NBA at the end of the current campaign.
That will bring an illustrious spell at the top of the sport to an end – and fans, team-mates, pundits and friends are united in their sadness that a true great of the game is going.
Bryant is a five-time NBA champion with the Lakers franchise he’s spent his whole career with.
He’ll go down as arguably the greatest ever to play in the league, in the discussion alongside Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James.
Among the millions of tributes paid online following Bryant’s announcement, former LA Galaxy football player David Beckham also gave his on Instagram.
Both men are good friends from their time together in the city and Bryant even told how Becks helped him recover from a torn Achilles tendon injury in 2013.
“There are many words that describe this man but for me the one that Kobe stands for is ” WINNER ” ..
“He has played the game with passion shown young kids the drive you need to become the best and given basketball fans mostly LAKERS fans the chance to watch a true winner…
“Sad to see Kobe retiring at the end of the season but unfortunately all great things must come to an end … Enjoy man.”
Given the Lakers’ 2-14 start to the season, it looks unlikely that Bryant will have an NBA championship to take with him in his final season.
But the rest of the campaign will be an emotional one for everyone in Los Angeles as their greatest ever Laker says goodbye.