Well, it turns out that way before the five-time NBA champion and future Hall of Famer penned the poignant poem to announce his retirement, Bryant actually broke the news this past summer to his idol — Michael Jordan.
Bryant and Jordan have become good friends over the years, so that revelation shouldn't come as a surprise, but it's still a pretty cool fact that MJ knew of the news before the public.
After Bryant's letter surfaced earlier in the day, following the Los Angeles Lakers' 107-103 loss against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night, the Black Mamba expounded about his decision via an emotional postgame press conference.
"I honestly feel good about it. I really do. I’m at peace with it. I’m excited for it to come," Bryant told members of the media, as reported by ESPN.
Although this season will be his 20th and final NBA campaign, Bryant did leave the door open for a possible run in the 2016 Summer Olympics playing with the U.S. basketball team.
"I'd be honored if that was there...that being said, it's not something I'm obsessing over," Bryant said, as reported by Sports Illustrated.
Until then, though, Bryant should "just enjoy it," as Jordan advised him.
He's likely to get standing ovation after ovation in whatever NBA city he travels to for the remainder of his final season.
Let his farewell tour begin.
Bryant will also speak with Robin Roberts about his decision to retire in an exclusive interview on Good Morning America on Wednesday morning.
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(Photos from left: Elsa/Getty Images, Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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