LOS ANGELES (AP):NBA star Kobe Bryant has decided to retire after this season, ending his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.The 37-year-old Bryant made the announcement in a post on The Players’ Tribune yesterday. The third-leading scorer in NBA history wrote a poem entitled ‘Dear Basketball’ to announce his decision.”My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye,” Bryant wrote. “And that’s OK. I’m ready to let you go. I want you to know now. So we both can savour every moment we have left together. The good and the bad. We have given each other all that we have.”Bryant scored 81 points against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006, the second highest-scoring performance in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game.Bryant went straight from high school in suburban Philadelphia to the Lakers in 1996, and he earned five championship rings and 17 All-Star selections during two decades with the franchise – the longest tenure with one team in NBA history. Bryant also won two Olympic gold medals.But Bryant’s last three seasons have ended early due to injuries, and he played in only 41 games over the previous two years. He has struggled mightily in the first 15 games of this season, with mostly young teammates on a rebuilding roster, making a career-worst 32 percent of his shots and dealing with pain and exhaustion every day.In recent months, Bryant repeatedly said he didn’t know whether he would play another season, clearly hoping for a rebound in his health and the Lakers’ fortunes.Neither has happened, and the ever-impatient Bryant didn’t wait any longer to decide his future.
An official report from the United Nations Mission on Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) has disclosed that over the past 21 days, nine counties, mostly in Southeastern Liberia, have reported no new Ebola cases.Hans Rosling said Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru, Maryland, Gbarpolu, Bomi, Grand Bassa, and River Cess counties, have reported no confirmed cases of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) for more than 21 days, while Lofa County in northern Liberia has reported zero cases in more than 40 days.Speaking at the Information Ministry’s daily Ebola briefing last Monday, Mr. Rosling expressed the hope that the situation would remain under control and that there would not be a rebirth of the disease in those counties, especially Lofa, the former epicenter of the deadly Ebola virus disease.Lofa is one of several Liberian counties bordering Guinea, from which the first outbreak was transmitted. He explained that Foya in Lofa County registered Liberia’s first case of Ebola in early March 2014, with the disease subsequently spreading rapidly to other parts of the country.He has, however, cautioned residents of those counties to remain assertive in protecting their communities and families by adhering to the preventive measures outlined by the Ministry of Health and its partners, including reporting all sick cases, doing away with bathing of dead bodies and shaking of hands.At the same time, according to Rosling, six counties- Cape Mount, Montserrado, Bong, Nimba, Margibi and Sinoe, have reported over 70 Ebola cases in the last three weeks but he maintained that UMEER was determined to ensure that Ebola is eradicated from Liberia.It may be recalled that in early November, the World Health Organization (WHO) assigned doctor to Lofa, Clement Peter, declared the Foya Emergency Treatment Unit (ETU) free of Ebola after it did not report cases of the disease in more than three weeks.“The World Health Organization (WHO) will declare a country Ebola-free if no new Ebola case is reported in 42 days. Liberia is fighting the virus and hopes that the country will be declared Ebola-free soon.”Also speaking, the Head of the Incident Management Team andAssistant Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah, revealed that the government has sent a six-man technical team to Grand Cape Mount County to beef up the strength of the local Ebola Taskforce in eradicating the virus.Minister Nyenswah said the government’s decision to dispatch the team was due to the constant outbreak of new Ebola cases in the area and the need to curb the virus.He said it is regrettable that while many counties are reporting zero cases, Cape Mount is still reporting fresh Ebola cases daily.Minister Nyenswah further disclosed that the six-person team will work with the County Health Team and local and international partners in fighting the further spread of the virus in the county.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)