Kobe Bryant Biography
Birthdate: August 23, 1978
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kobe Bryant was born with basketball already in his blood. His dad was former NBA star Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, who played for the 76ers, Clippers and Rockets. When Kobe was six years old, Joe started playing basketball in Europe, so the Bryant family moved to Italy. The family stayed there for seven years. While living in Italy, Kobe learned to speak fluent Italian and started playing basketball.
The Bryant family moved back to the United States when Kobe was 13 and he started playing high school basketball in Philadelphia. Kobe was now 6'6" and a star on the court. Kobe could even school his dad in one-on-one games. In Kobe's senior year of high school, he led his school to the Pennsylvania State Championship and was named the Naismith Player of the Year.
Kobe figured he was already good enough to play in the NBA, so he skipped college and was drafted right after high school by the Charlotte Hornets in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft. In a trade the Hornets are still crying about, they sent Kobe to the LA Lakers for center Vlade Divac. Despite not going to college, Kobe was a quick learner on the courts of the NBA. He played in the NBA All-Star Game for the first time in 1998 and by 2000, Kobe had developed into one of basketball's best players. Kobe and Shaquille O'Neal teamed up to lead the LA Lakers to three straight NBA Championship Titles from 2000 to 2002.
In 2003, Kobe was arrested and charged with sexual assault after an encounter with a woman at a Colorado ski resort. In August, 2004, the charges and the court case against Kobe were dropped, but Kobe has still had to live with a damaged reputation and a mighty PO'd wife - Kobe admitted to an affair with his accuser but said it was consensual.
Kobe Without Shaq
In 2004, Kobe had to prove that he could lead the Lakers without Shaquille O'Neal. After Kobe told the Lakers he wouldn't be wearing the purple and gold if Shaq was in town, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat before the 2004-2005 season. The trade was good news for the Heat, who won the NBA championship with O'Neal. In the next few years, Kobe grew frustrated as his team repeatedly suffered first round exits in the playoffs. The 2007-'08 season is when the Lakers finally got over the hump. They acquired Pao Gasol via trade and went on to have the best record in the Western Conference. Kobe also won his first MVP award that year.
Did U Know?
- Kobe Bryant is 6'6" tall and weighs 220 pounds.
- Kobe Bryant is nicknamed the Black Mamba after the deadly snake.
- Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa are proud parents of two daughters, Natalia and Giana Marie-Onure.
- Kobe Bryant took R&B singer Brandy to his high school prom.
- Kobe Bryant made a rap album in 2000.
- Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a game on January 22, 2005 - the 2nd most points scored in a game in NBA history!
- Kobe Bryant is a 10-time NBA All Star.
- Kobe Bryant won the 1997 Slam Dunk Championship.
Kobe Says ...
"What I'm doing right now, I'm chasing perfection."