Kobe Bryant was considered as one of the finest NBA players. He was a 5-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, and an NBA Most Valuable Player. He also won two Olympic gold medals in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Men’s basketball competitions as well as a gold medal in the 2007 Las Vegas FIBA Americas Championship.
Bryant played as a shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers team of the National Basketball Association. He was known as the top high school basketball player in the country during his time as a successful high school basketball player at Lower Merion High School.
In 1996, he was selected by the team of Charlotte Hornets team at the 13th overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft and traded to the team of Los Angeles Lakers. Coupled with Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe helped the lakers to 3 consecutive NBA Championships from 2000 to 2002. He contributed to the team victory in 2005-06 and 2006-07 Season, setting many scoring records in the meantime.
Standing 6’6” tall, Kobe weighs 205 lbs and has established himself as a standout defender for the team of Lakers. He was also popular for being one of the premier clutch performers in the NBA. As a rookie, he won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1997. He is known to have scored second most points in a single game in NBA history with 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.
Kobe was a 12-time member of All-NBA team and 10-time All-Defensive team, known to be the youngest player to have received defensive honors. In 2009, he was named as the 2000’s decade’s NBA player by TNT and Sporting News Channel. During this season, Bryant became the youngest NBA player to reach 25,000 points.
After signing a three-year contract extension with the Lakers in 2010, he suffered multiple injuries throughout the season. Despite of Bryant’s injuries, the Lakers went on to win the NBA finals against Bolton Celtics.
Bryant went on to become the youngest player in the league to score 30,000 points. Although Bryant was plagued with more injuries in 2014, he became the oldest NBA player to achieve 30 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds in a game. His final season came in 2015-16 as he announced his retirement from basketball due to an accumulation of debilitating physical injuries through the years. His career statistics are 33,643 points, 7,047 rebounds, and 6,306 assists.
- 5-time NBA champion (2000–2002, 2009, 2010)
- 2-time NBA Finals MVP (2009, 2010)
- NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
- 18-time NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2016)
- 4-time NBA All-Star Game MVP (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011)
- 11-time All-NBA First Team (2002–2004, 2006–2013)
- 2-time All-NBA Second Team (2000, 2001)
- 2-time All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)
- 9-time NBA All-Defensive First Team (2000, 2003, 2004, 2006–2011)
- 3-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2001, 2002, 2012)
- 2-time NBA scoring champion (2006, 2007)
- NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion (1997)
- NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1997)
- Naismith Prep Player of the Year (1996)
- Nos. 8 & 24 retired by Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant died on January 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash that also killed eight other people including his daughter Gianna.