We Found Kobe Bryant’s Other Retirement Poem

It’s not about basketball.

Three years ago, Kobe Bryant paid $329,000 for a brand new Ferrari 458 Italia. He definitely wrote this, but he might or might not have written this:

Dear Ferrari 458,

From the moment
I started taking joy rides in my dad’s Buick Electra
And accelerating with nonexistent horsepower
On Roosevelt Boulevard
I knew one thing was real:

I needed to get the hell out of this Buick Electra.

And so, I gave basketball my all—
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.

As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with cars beyond General Motors’ Malaise Era
I dreamed of Ferraris.
I saw myself getting into one,
Mocking my dad and his lame-ass Buick Electra.

And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball.
Your MSRP demanded my hustle
I gave up my left leg
Because Ferrari dealers will literally exact body parts from clients.

I drove through sun and moon
Not because Ferraris melt in the rain,
But because I am fanatical about YOUR upkeep.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When a Ferrari makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.

You gave a six-year-old boy his Ferrari dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
I will love you obsessively for ever.
This season is my last in basketball.
My heart cannot take the strain
My loins cannot stand the pain
Of being far from my super-gorgeous, $329,000 Ferrari 458.

I will never say goodbye.

And that’s OK.
I will let personal relationships, my career, professional endorsements and
All other facets of my rich life wither on the vine.
I’m ready to let that go.
I want you to know now
So we can both savor every moment we will have together
Until the sun falls out of orbit, Hell freezes over and
My dad gets rid of that stupid Buick Electra.

And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the keys to a Buick Electra
Getting harrassed by my high school friends about
Driving a Buick Electra to a party, even though
I brought the beer.

Five hours until my parents got home
Driving a Buick
Wheel in my hands
Ten mph… 20… 30… 40… 45.

Buick Electras don’t really get past 45.

—Kobe