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Kobe Bryant Biography

Jan 28, 2020

Birthdate: August 23, 1978 - January 26, 2020
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Position: Shooting guard
Jersey No. 24

Kobe Bryant

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.

NBA Superstar

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.

Kobe when he was drafted to the LakersKobe when he was drafted to the Lakers

Court Case

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.

Legendary duo Kobe and ShaqLegendary duo Kobe and Shaq

Retirement

In November 2015, Kobe announced that he would retire at the end of the season. In the season finale on April 13, 2016 Bryant scored an NBA season-high 60 points against Utah in his last NBA game. Kobe became the oldest player to score 60 or more points in a game at 37 years old. The Lakers finished the season with a 17–65 record, their worst record in franchise history.

Post-retirement, Kobe won an Academy Award in 2018 for his animated short film Dear Basketball. Dear Basketball is a animated short film written and narrated by Kobe Bryant based on a letter Kobe wrote to The Players' Tribune on November 29, 2015 announcing his retirement from basketball

Kobe with is Oscar!Kobe with is Oscar!

On October 23, 2018, Kobe released his book "The Mamba Mentality: How I Play," which is a look back on his career with photos and his reflections

The Mamba Mentality: How I Play book by KobeThe Mamba Mentality: How I Play book by Kobe

Personal Life

At the age of 22 Kobe married his now wife Vanessa on April 18, 2001 in Dana Point, California. Together, the couple have 4 daughters. The Bryants' had their first child, Natalia in January 2003, their second daughter Gianna, was born in May 2006, their third daughter Bianka was born in December 2006 and the forth daughter Capri Kobe, was born in June 2019.

Kobe with wife Vanessa and their 3 daughters and pregnant with CapriKobe with wife Vanessa and their 3 daughters and pregnant with Capri

Tragedy

On January 26, 2020, Bryant was onboard a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter that crashed in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. Nine people, including Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna "Gigi," were all killed in the crash. The helicopter was on its way from Orange County to Thousands Oaks, California where Kobe was scheduled to coach a tournament game at his Mamba Sports Academy.

Kobe with his daughter Gianna who both tragically died in a helicopter crashKobe with his daughter Gianna who both tragically died in a helicopter crash

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 4d aughters, Natalia Diamante, Giana Marie-Onure, Bianka, and Capri.
  • 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 18-time NBA All Star, won 5 championships with LA Lakers, and scored 33643 career points
  • Kobe Bryant won the 1997 Slam Dunk Championship.
  • Kobe Bryant retired in 2016. 

Kobe Says ...

"What I'm doing right now, I'm chasing perfection."

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