« You asked for my hustle, I gave you my heart », Kobe


Kobe Bryant, shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, broke up with basketball on Nov. 29. Bryant announced his retirement from the team through poetry, using personification, apostrophe (the rhetorical device for talking to someone who isn’t there), anthropomorphism, and repetition.


Using anthropomorphism, Bryant bemoans of basketball, “You asked for my hustle / I gave you my heart.” The slight alliteration of “hustle” and “heart” really emphasizes the connection Bryant and his basketball have. The bloody imagery of Bryant ripping out his heart echoes the climax of many William Shakespeare tragedies.

Unsurprisingly, Bryant’s repeated use of the word “love” shows that he has always loved basketball. Nevertheless, Bryant says “I can’t love you obsessively for much longer … my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.” This repetition of “love,” or relatedly, “heart” and “feel,” carries through the poem all the way to the penultimate line, “Love you always,” which serves as a letter closing.


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