Kobe Bryant – Hero, Superstar, Businessman
On December 18, 2017, “The Black Mamba” Kobe Bryant had the numbers he wore, 8 and 24 retired by the Los Angeles Lakers, a franchise in which he spent twenty remarkable years with. In my opinion Kobe Bryant is the greatest Laker of all-time. Even the Showtime Laker legend Magic Johnson agrees. Kobe is also my favorite basketball player of all-time as well. Bryant has left the game with a number of unforgettable memories. Kobe Bean Bryant was born on August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, PA. His parents Joe (Jellybean) Bryant, and Pam Bryant named him after a type of steak, they seen at a restaurant, before he was born. Kobe’s dad Joe Bryant actually played in the NBA from 1975-1983, and averaged 8.7 points per game in his career. From ages 6-13 Bryant spent those years of his life in Italy.
Due to the fact his father played Italian overseas basketball, preceding his career from the NBA. While in Italy Kobe played basketball against much older men. For staying in Italy for so long, Kobe speaks fluent Italian. As he moved back to the States, The Bean was an outstanding star at Lower Merion High School, in Ardmore, Pennsylvania ; the best player to ever come out of that school. He graduated in 1996.
Kobe rejected playing college basketball, and was drafted 13th overall in the 1996 draft, to the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte later traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers for the 7’1” Center Vlade Divac. Divac was a one-time All-Star in the NBA. But this may have been one of the biggest blunders in sports history. For the fact that Charlotte gave up a future legend, for so little in return. The Bean became the youngest player to ever appear in an NBA game at the time, on November 3rd, 1996 at 18 years, 2 months, and 11 days old.
Kobe went on to win the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest in Cleveland, showboating in the process. The Black Mamba played alongside Shaquille O’ Neal as the both of them led the Lakers to three consecutive titles from 2000-2002, and were the two most dominant players in the league, but after the 2004 Finals lost to the Detroit Pistons. Shaq and Kobe were not seeing eye to eye. Kobe complained about Shaq’s work ethic also other things, and the Lakers owner Jerry Buss decided to keep Bryant, and ship Shaq to the Miami Heat, were he won a championship in 2006.
The Bean went on to appear in twelve All-Star appearances since Shaq’s departure, and was known as the best player in the league throughout the 2000s. As he was handed the keys to the Lakers franchise. The Mamba won his only MVP in 2008, and won two more titles with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010. On January 22, 2006 Kobe scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. The second greatest scoring performance in NBA history. As the greatest scoring performance in NBA history was Wilt Chamberlin’s 100 points in 1962.
In July 2003 Bryant was in a world of trouble. News from Colorado reported that Kobe was having a sexual connection with a 19-year old hotel employee in Colorado, but the case dropped, and Kobe became more of a mature man after this inappropriate incident. As years went by, Kobe has rebounded his life since the case.
By creating basketball camps for the youth, donating to charities, helping the less fortunate, and assisting kids, by creating educational programs for schools. In 2001, Kobe married Vanessa Laine Bryant. He has three daughters with her. Kobe suffered menacing injuries the last few seasons of his career, which forced him to call it quits, and retire in 2016.
Kobe is my childhood hero. He’s the closest duplicate to another NBA legend Michael Jordan. In terms of playing style, competitive hunger, and accomplishments. Bryant ranks in my top five NBA players ever. He has so many memories for the sport of basketball, and his legacy will last forever. The Bean is currently a businessman. He invested in the sports drink “Body Armor”, and is one of the key people in the company. Kobe finished his basketball career with 33,643 points (3rd all-time), and a 25.0 points per game average (12th all-time as of now). All in all, Kobe Bean Bryant will be missed in basketball..