Thursday, February 20, 2014

Derek Jeter & Kobe Bryant: Future Hall-of-Famers Face Retirement

Good Day World!

 Time catches up to all of us, but sometimes it’s hard to watch. Especially when you’re talking about professional athletes who you’ve followed throughout their careers.

Future Hall-of Famer Derek Jeter recently announced that he’s calling it quits after 20 sensational years. The New York Yankees captain really didn’t give a reason for why he’s retiring now. He told the Yankee management, team mates, and fans, that “20 years was enough,” but shied away from saying why.

Jeter is a 13-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove shortstop who led the Yankees to World Series titles in 1996, '98, '99, '00 and '09. He enters his 20th big league season with a .312 average, 256 homers and 1,261 RBIs.

The bottom line for Jeter is that he’s ready to do something else in his life. And he’s doing it on his own terms.

Another great athlete, Kobe Bryant, of the Los Angeles Lakers, is facing retirement. But he’s NOT ready to call it quits…yet.

Where there was once inevitability and sureness, there is now an uncertain and contemplative Black Mamba, working toward a 2013-14 return that is no longer guaranteed.

Age has caught up with him, though, diminishing the impact of his usual defiance and truculence, making it so Bryant is at the mercy of his body, and not his will, for the first time of his career.

That's something he must become accustomed to, a reality he must live with. Having already missed 47 games this season, Bryant is roughly six months away from turning 36, rapidly approaching the end of an incredible run.

The question is two-fold: ONE, will he be able to come back for one more season? And TWO, will it be hard to watch him with diminished skills if he does? Unlike Derek Jeter, Kobe’s retirement depends upon when his worn-out body can no longer compete.

Derek Jeter has chosen to go out at the top of his game, under his own terms. Kobe is not going to have that opportunity as his best days are gone. He’s assured a place in the Basketball Hall-of-Fame, however.

In the end, both men are legends in their sport, and it’s going to be sad to see them go.

Time for me to walk on down the road…  

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