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Stars including Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg and David Beckham have taken to social media to praise basketball icon Kobe Bryant after he announced his retirement.
The 37-year-old sportsman, who has played for the Los Angeles Lakers since 1996, confirmed he will retire from the game when the current season ends by posting a poem online on Sunday (29Nov15).
"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..." he writes. "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."
Following the announcement, his celebrity friends and fans took to Twitter.com to show their support for Bryant and praise his career achievements.
Pop star Justin Timberlake wrote, "One of the true kings of the game. You are one the greatest to ever do it, my friend," and Snoop Dogg added, "Legends never die @kobebryant love u (sic) for the memories. And friendship God bless u (sic) and yours."
Retired soccer star David Beckham posted on Instagram.com, "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."
Actor Rob Lowe added on Twitter, "Wow. @kobebryant One of the toughest champions who ever lived. We will savor this season," and rapper Lupe Fiasco wrote, "Shout to @kobebryant on his illustrious career in the NBA (National Basketball Association)!... One of the greatest of all time..."
Model Gigi Hadid posted, "Bittersweet! @KobeBryant feels like home to anyone who grew up a @Lakers fan. All good things must come to an end. Love the Bryant family."