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.
New Delhi, Jul 22 (PTI) The BCCI today decided to employ “wait and watch” policy with regards to coming under National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA)’s umbrella after its top brass met in Kolkata for a meeting today. The meeting was attended by acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhry. CEO Rahul Johri was present as the representative of Vinod Rai-led Committee of Administrators (COA). NADA has long wanted the BCCI to come under its ambit but country’s richest sports body has thwarted its attempt because it doesn’t come under the ambit of National Sports Federations (NSFs). “The CEO Rahul Johri updated us on BCCI’s current stand on anti-doping policy and communication with NADA and ICC. However no decision has been taken as of now. We have had some amount of discussions on this topic. But we are going to have a few more meetings before we can arrive at any conclusion. It will take some time,” acting president CK Khanna told PTI today. However as things stand, it will be difficult to convince top Indian cricketers like Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni to sign the contentious ‘Whereabouts Clause’ where players need to intimate the anti-doping body in advance for the testing purpose. The Indian cricketers are dead against the clause as they fear that their privacy will be breached. With the Supreme Court scheduled to pass its verdict on the revised constitution based on Lodha Committee recommendations in the next fortnight, the COA might not have enough time at their disposal to get a policy decision passed in such a short span of time.advertisement If BCCI comes under the NADA ambit, the decision has to be taken at the general body meeting as COA cannot unilaterally take any decision. The other topic that came up for discussion was allowing outstation players to take part in the state-based T20 leagues like Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), Karnataka Premier League (KPL) to name a few. The meeting was attended by technical committee chairman Sourav Ganguly also along with three office-bearers. The meeting was deemed necessary after players like Unmukt Chand, Sheldon Jackson, Hanuma Vihari were not allowed by the COA to take part in the TNPL citing BCCI rules which prevents a player from another state to take part in a private league held in another state. “Since the TNPL has started, this year nothing can happen. But we need to find a way out. Most of the members feel that players shouldn’t be barred from playing,” one of the office bearers said. “However technical committee chairman Ganguly made a pertinent point that we also need to maintain a fine balance when it comes to allowing too many state based T20 leagues as it’s our duty to protect the novelty of Indian Premier League,” he added. PTI KHS KHS ATKATK