Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant warming up.jpg
Bryant with the Lakers in 2015
Personal information
Born (1978-08-23) August 23, 1978 (age 40)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)[a]
Listed weight212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High schoolLower Merion
(Ardmore, Pennsylvania)
NBA draft1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13th overall
Selected by the Charlotte Hornets
Playing career1996–2016
PositionShooting guard
Number8, 24
Career history
19962016Los Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points33,643 (25.0 ppg)
Rebounds7,047 (5.2 rpg)
Assists6,306 (4.7 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978) is an American former professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships with the Lakers. Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. He led the NBA in scoring during two seasons and ranks third on the league's all-time regular season scoring and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. He holds the NBA record for the most seasons playing with one franchise for an entire career and is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.[3][4][5][6] Bryant is the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons.

The son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, Kobe Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. He declared for the NBA draft upon graduation and was selected in the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets, who traded him to the Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, and he was named an All-Star by his second season. Despite a feud between them, Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002.

In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault in Colorado, but the charges were eventually dropped, and a civil suit was settled out of court. After the Lakers lost the 2004 NBA Finals, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat. Bryant became the cornerstone of the Lakers, and he led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons. In 2006, he scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second most points scored in a single game in league history behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962. Bryant was awarded the regular season's Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in 2008. After losing in the 2008 NBA Finals, he led the Lakers to two consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, earning the Finals MVP Award on both occasions. He continued to be among the top players in the league through 2013 when the 34-year-old Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Although he recovered, his play was limited the following two years by season-ending injuries to his knee and shoulder, respectively. Citing his physical decline, he announced that he would retire after the 2015–16 season.

At 34 years and 104 days of age, Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points. He became the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history on February 1, 2010, when he surpassed Jerry West. During his third year in the league, Bryant was chosen to start the All-Star Game, and he would continue to be selected to start that game for a record 18 consecutive appearances until his retirement. His four All-Star MVP Awards are tied for the most in NBA history. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals as a member of the U.S. national team. Sporting News and TNT named Bryant the top NBA player of the 2000s. In 2018, Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball.[7]

Early life and education

Bryant was born in 1978 in Philadelphia; he was the youngest of three children and the only son of former NBA player Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant.[8] He is also the maternal nephew of basketball player John "Chubby" Cox. His parents named him after the famous beef of Kobe, Japan, which they saw on a restaurant menu.[8] His middle name, Bean, is derived from his father's nickname "Jellybean". Bryant was raised Roman Catholic.[9] When Bryant was six, his father retired from the NBA and moved his family to Rieti in Italy to continue playing professional basketball at a lower level.[10][11] Kobe became accustomed to his new lifestyle and learned to speak fluent Italian.[11][12] During summers, he would come back to the United States to play in a basketball summer league.[13]

Bryant started playing basketball when he was 3 years old,[14] and the Lakers were his favorite team when he was growing up.[15] Bryant's grandfather would mail him videos of NBA games, which Bryant would study.[15] At an early age, he also learned to play soccer and his favorite team was A.C. Milan.[16] When Kobe's father Joe retired as a player in 1991, the family moved back to the United States.

High school

Bryant's retired No. 33 jersey and banner at the Lower Merion High School gym.

Bryant earned national recognition during a spectacular high school career at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, which was located in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion. He played on the varsity basketball team as a freshman.[17] He became the first freshman in decades to start for Lower Merion's varsity team, but the team finished with a 4–20 record.[17][18] The following three years, the Aces compiled a 77–13 record, with Bryant playing all five positions.[17] During his junior year, he averaged 31.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists and was named Pennsylvania Player of the Year,[19] attracting attention from college recruiters in the process.[19] Duke, Michigan, North Carolina and Villanova were at the top of his list; however, when Kevin Garnett went in the first round of the 1995 NBA draft, he began considering going directly to the pros.[19]

At Adidas ABCD camp, Bryant earned the 1995 senior MVP award[20] while playing alongside future NBA teammate Lamar Odom.[21] While in high school, then 76ers coach John Lucas invited Bryant to work out and scrimmage with the team, where he played one-on-one with Jerry Stackhouse.[22] In his senior year of high school, Bryant led the Aces to their first state championship in 53 years. During the run, he averaged 30.8 points, 12 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4 steals, and 3.8 blocked shots in leading the Aces to a 31–3 record.[23] Bryant ended his high school career as Southeastern Pennsylvania's all-time leading scorer at 2,883 points, surpassing both Wilt Chamberlain and Lionel Simmons.[24]

Bryant received several awards for his outstanding performance during his senior year at Lower Merion. The awards included being named Naismith High School Player of the Year, Gatorade Men's National Basketball Player of the Year, a McDonald's All-American, and a USA Today All-USA First Team player.[25] Bryant's varsity coach, Greg Downer, commented that he was "a complete player who dominates" and praised his work ethic, even as the team's top player.[23][26] In 1996, Bryant took R&B singer Brandy to his senior prom,[27] though the two were, and remain, just friends. Ultimately, however, the 17-year-old Bryant made the decision to go directly into the NBA, only the sixth player in NBA history to do so.[17] Bryant's news was met with a lot of publicity at a time when prep-to-pro NBA players were not very common (Garnett being the only exception in 20 years).[17] His basketball skills and SAT score of 1080 would have ensured admission to any college he chose,[28] but he did not officially visit any campuses.[26] In 2012, Bryant was honored as one of the 35 Greatest McDonald's All-Americans.[29]

Other Languages
العربية: كوبي براينت
asturianu: Kobe Bryant
azərbaycanca: Kobi Brayant
Bân-lâm-gú: Kobe Bryant
беларуская: Кобі Браянт
български: Коби Брайънт
bosanski: Kobe Bryant
català: Kobe Bryant
čeština: Kobe Bryant
Deutsch: Kobe Bryant
Ελληνικά: Κόμπι Μπράιαντ
español: Kobe Bryant
euskara: Kobe Bryant
français: Kobe Bryant
galego: Kobe Bryant
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kobe Bryant
հայերեն: Կոբի Բրայանտ
hrvatski: Kobe Bryant
Bahasa Indonesia: Kobe Bryant
íslenska: Kobe Bryant
italiano: Kobe Bryant
Basa Jawa: Kobe Bryant
Kreyòl ayisyen: Kobe Bryant
latviešu: Kobe Braiants
lietuvių: Kobe Bryant
magyar: Kobe Bryant
македонски: Коби Брајант
Malagasy: Kobe Bryant
მარგალური: კობი ბრაიანტი
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Kobe Bryant
Nederlands: Kobe Bryant
norsk nynorsk: Kobe Bryant
polski: Kobe Bryant
português: Kobe Bryant
română: Kobe Bryant
Runa Simi: Kobe Bryant
русский: Брайант, Коби
Simple English: Kobe Bryant
slovenčina: Kobe Bryant
slovenščina: Kobe Bryant
Soomaaliga: Kobe Bryant
српски / srpski: Коби Брајант
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kobe Bryant
svenska: Kobe Bryant
Tagalog: Kobe Bryant
Türkçe: Kobe Bryant
українська: Кобі Браянт
vèneto: Kobe Bryant
Tiếng Việt: Kobe Bryant
Volapük: Kobe Bryant
Winaray: Kobe Bryant
Yorùbá: Kobe Bryant
粵語: 高比拜仁