On Sunday afternoon, 5-time NBA Champion and 17-time All-Star Kobe Bryant, who broke into the NBA at the tender age of 18, announced that he will retire at the conclusion of this season! Kobe is an international icon known worldwide! He actually grew up in Italy, as his dad (Joe Bryant) played professionally overseas from 1984 to 1992! He will retire being the only player in NBA history to play 20 years for the same franchise, the LA Lakers, and third all-time in scoring!
There is no silver lining to this story, and Spain is not allowing wealth to uphold impunity. Lionel Messi, one of the top paid athletes in the world, FC Barcelona forward, will stand trial with his father, Jorge, for intentionally not paying taxes from endorsement earnings (defrauding Spain) from 2007-2009 amounting to about $5 million dollars. The judge in the case rejected requests from prosecutors to drop the charges on the star soccer/futbal player and his father, and they will have to stand trial with no date set yet. Lawyers from the tax authority are lobbying for a 22-month sentence for both Lionel and his father. Lionel and his father are denying any knowledge of wrongdoing and intentional fraud.