Kobe Bryant was part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 20 years and he did it all on one team, the Los Angeles Lakers. As commendable as that is, it makes us even more curious about the man behind the name. Kobe Bryant was a paragon of excellence not only in the Basketball sport but in every aspect of his life. Before we delve into the topic of Kobe Bryant’s career and life, let’s check out a few facts about the athlete himself.
Interesting Facts About Kobe Bryant’s Family Members
Kobe Bean Bryant was born on 23 August 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he was named after a popular type of beef in Japan. Kobe is the last child of the three children, Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox had and he hails from a line of basketball players, with his father and his uncle, John “Chubby” Cox being former members of the NBA.
When Joe Bryant retired from the NBA, he decided to relocate with his family to Italy, where he continued to play the sport. It was in Italy Kobe spent most of his childhood as the move took place when he was six; during that time, he only visited the United States in the summer. For the period that the family lived in Italy, Kobe picked up the language and became very fluent in Italian.
Kobe Bryant always had a desire to play sports even as a child of three when he started to play basketball. When in Italy, the language was not the only thing he learned as he started to play football as well. His high school education was at Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia where he was on the school’s basketball team. Due to his talent and skill, he gained recognition on a national level for how well he played the game.
Everything To Know About His Life & Career Achievements
Kobe Bryant joined the 1996 NBA draft where he was a first-round pick and the 13th overall pick. He was selected by the Charlotte Hornets who then traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was just seventeen and right out of high school when he joined the Lakers, a team he had loved since he was a child. For the entirety of his twenty-year career, which ended on the 13th of April 2016 when he retired, Bryant exemplified what it meant to be fully committed to a sport and to a team as he was with the Lakers. The success of his career as a professional basketball player is in the numerous wins he had, the records he broke/set, and the plethora of awards that he won.
The history of his awards can be traced back to playing in high school. The Naismith Prep Player of the Year was his first major award and he got it in 1996. In 2008, he bagged the NBA MVP award and in the following year, Kobe Bryant won the NBA Finals MVP award, which he won again in 2010. He is also a 5-time NBA Champion, a 2-time Scouring Champion, a 15-time All-NBA Team Selection, an 18-time NBA All-Star and a 4-time NBA All-Star Game MVP.
The skill displayed by Kobe Bryant during his career was not only acknowledged by award bodies in the NBA; in 2002, 2003 and 2008, he won the BET award for Sportsman of the Year and in 2016, won the ESPY Icon Award.
What Was His Impact Beyond The Brown-leather Game?
Kobe Bryant is mostly known for his career in basketball, but he was involved in a number of ventures off the court. His attempt at a career in music was not met favorably and Sony, the record label that signed him, had to abandon any plans of releasing an album. He has published a book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play. The book chronicles his career as a basketball player. Of all his side projects, his philanthropy is what he is mostly recognized for as he has several foundations that help different people in many ways.
To begin with, Kobe Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, started the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation which helps young people in need and assists the homeless. He also founded the Kobe Bryant China Fund, a charity he started with the support of the Chinese government. What’s more, Kobe was also an Ambassador for After School All-Stars, a non-profit organization that helps children get involved in after school activities.
Beyond his philanthropy, he also had several business ventures to his name, including the venture capital firm, Bryant-Stibel, which he launched with his business partner, Jeff Stibel. In 2018, he won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball, becoming the first African American to do so.
How Did Kobe Bryant Die?
On the 26th of January, 2020, the world mourned the loss of a man who had been a source of inspiration. Kobe Bryant was with his second daughter, Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter on their way to the basketball player’s academy in Thousand Oaks that fateful morning. The helicopter had been flying despite unsuitable weather and sometime around 9:40 a.m., they crashed into the mountains. Sadly, there were no survivors.
Being the icon he was, the whole world mourned when the news of the tragedy broke.