Bryant was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1978. His father, Joe Bryant, was also an NBA player, and he retired in 1984. However, he decided to play basketball in Europe, and he ended up in Italy, where he moved with his whole family. While growing up in Italy, Kobe played both soccer and basketball.
However, his passion was always more focused on basketball, and he wanted to be like his father. The whole family came back to the US in 1991, and Kobe started attending Lower Merion High School, where he played basketball. Playing for the team, he broke several records, even the one held by legendary Wilt Chamberlain.
In 1996, Kobe was planning to go to college but also declared for the NBA draft in case some team chose him. The Charlotte Hornets drafted him as the 13th pick in the first round, but the Hornets traded him to the Lakers where he would spend his entire NBA career.
Bryant’s career started slowly, and in his rookie season, he didn’t get much playing time. However, in his second year, he started getting more playing time and repaid the team with excellent performances. In his third year, Bryant was already an All-Star at just 19 years old. This made him the youngest All-Star ever.
When Shaquille O’Neal joined the LA Lakers, the two won three NBA championships in a row. However, Bryant and O’Neal started having disputes. It was clear that their relationship affected the whole team and disrupted the morale of the entire squad. This is why O’Neal left in 2004 to join the Miami Heat, while Bryant had one of the best seasons in his career as he led in scoring and recorded 81 points in a single game.
In the 2008 season, Bryant led the Lakers to the NBA finals, where they lost against Boston Celtics. During that season, he also earned the MVP award. The next season, Bryant and the Lakers reached the finals again, but this time, they won against Orlando Magic, getting Kobe his 4th NBA title.
In 2010, the Lakers reached the finals for the third consecutive time and won against the Celtics. From 2008 until the end of his career, Bryant also played many games for the US national team, winning Olympic medals and championships. Bryant was named an All-Star 17 times, won an NBA championship, and two Olympic gold medals. He was also chosen for the All-NBA team of the year several times.
Kobe Bryant Relationships
Kobe was a very successful basketball player and made a huge mark on history. During his career, he also dated many beautiful women including:
Vanessa Bryant (married 1999)
Brandy Norwood (1996)
In 2011, Bryant and his wife Vanessa filed for divorce. Luckily the couple was able to work it out and we’re still together until his untimely death.
Bryant was also charged with sexual assault in 2003. This case was dismissed as he admitted to committing adultery but denied rape. Bryant also had to pay fines for the incident and make a civil settlement.
In the News
On January 26th, 2019, Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others were the victims of a fatal helicopter crash near Calabasas, California. The helicopter was on its way to Mamba Sports Academy when it went down in harsh weather conditions. The crash claimed all nine lives, including Kobe and his talented 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Bryant was always known for his work ethic and being the most persistent player on the court and in training. Kobe Bryant is not only remembered as one of the best basketball players of all time but also as a creative businessman.
He worked on Dear Basketball, a short film that helped him win an Academy Award. Additionally, Bryant had extensive sponsorships with Nike. He was also a huge ambassador of basketball around the world.
Keep up with Kobe’s legacy with The Shade Room!