The world is still in shock about the death of Kobe Bryant. Many of world popular figures have shared their memories of him on their various social media pages.
Some may be wondering who at all is Kobe Bryant? Why is everyone talking about him, and what has he achieved that has given him such a global recognition? Well, all your questions will be answered in this article. This article focuses on the Biography of NBA Superstar Kobe Bryant.
WHO WAS KOBE BRYANT:
Kobe Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Named after a Japanese steakhouse, Bryant is the son of former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant.
Though he boasted good grades and high SAT scores, Bryant decided to go straight to the NBA from high school. He was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick of the 1996 NBA draft and was subsequently traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. 1984, after ending his NBA career, the elder Bryant took the family to Italy, where he played in the Italian League.
Growing up in Italy alongside two athletic older sisters, Shaya and Sharia, Bryant was a zealous player of both basketball and soccer.
When the family returned to Philadelphia in 1991, Bryant joined the Lower Merion High School basketball team, leading it to the state championships four years in a row. With an eye on the NBA, he also started working out with the 76ers.
Kobe Bryant spent his early years in Italy and joined the NBA straight out of high school. A dominant scorer, Bryant won five NBA championships and the 2008 MVP Award with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Although later seasons were damaged by injuries, he overtook Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA all-time scoring list in December 2014 and retired in 2016 after scoring 60 points in his final game. In 2018, Bryant earned an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball.
NBA CAREER AND ACHIEVEMENTS:
Kobe in his second season with the Lakers, Bryant was voted a starter for the 1998 All-Star Game, becoming the youngest All-Star in NBA history at 19. The shooting guard then teamed up with superstar center Shaquille O’Neal to win three consecutive NBA championships and was voted first-team all-NBA from 2002-2004.
He also inked multi-year endorsement deals with Adidas, Sprite and other top sponsors. Although the Lakers struggled after O’Neal left in 2004, Bryant performed brilliantly.
He scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in January 2006, the second-highest single-game mark in NBA history, and led the league in scoring that year and the next.
Bryant was named Most Valuable Player and carried his team to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics in 2018.
In the 2009 NBA Finals, the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic to win the championship. Shortly afterward, Bryant was part of the memorial service to honor friend and music superstar Michael Jackson. The following year, the Lakers won their second straight title by defeating the Celtics.
Bryant played on both the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic teams, winning consecutive gold medals with teammates Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, among several other top players.
After suffering a torn Achilles tendon in April 2013, Bryant worked hard to return to the court before fracturing his knee just six games into the 2013-2014 season.
KOBE BRYANT”S RETIREMENT:
In November 2015, he announced that he would retire at the end of the season. “This season is all I have left to give,” he wrote on The Players’ Tribune website. “My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”
On April 13, 2016, Bryant dazzled a sold-out crowd at the Staples Center and fans everywhere in the last game of his career, scoring 60 points and leading the Lakers to a win against the Utah Jazz. It was Bryant’s sixth 60-point game of his career. He brought all to an end in the career of basketball.
KOBE BRYANT”S FAMILY:
Bryant married 19-year-old Vanessa Laine in April 2001. The couple are parents to four daughters: Natalia Diamante (born. 2003), Gianna Maria-Onore (born. 2006), Bianka (born. 2016) and Capri (born. 2019).
KOBE BRYANT”S DEMISE:
Kobe Bryant died at age 41 on January 26, 2020. Kobe Bryant was on board in a helicopter that crashed in the Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas. Nine people, including Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore, died in the crash.