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Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant’s legacy as one of the greatest basketball players of all time is firmly cemented in place.


Known as one of the game’s most fierce competitors, he went directly from high school to the NBA and became the third-youngest player to appear in an NBA game.


Playing 20 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, he led the purple and gold to five NBA championships, a regular season record of 836-510 (.621 winning percentage) and a 135-85 (.614) mark in the NBA playoffs.


He was an 18-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA team, a 12-time member of the NBA All-Defensive team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.


He’s among an elite group of USA Basketball athletes owning a pair of Olympic gold medals, winning Olympic titles in 2008 and 2012. While wearing the USA Basketball uniform in international competitions he compiled a remarkable unblemished overall record of 36-0.


Known as the “Black Mamba,” his defense was heralded, and his scoring was high octane.


Averaging 25.0 points game over his long career, he recorded 121 40-point games in his career, and had 25 50+ point games and five 60+ games. That ranks behind only Wilt Chamberlin and Michael Jordan in both 40- and 50-point games, and only behind Chamberlin in 60-point games.


He once scored 81 points in a game, the second-most ever in an NBA game.


During the 2007 season, he recorded a string of four-consecutive 50-points-or-better games. He poured in 65 points against Portland, 50 against Minnesota, 60 against Memphis and 50 against New Orleans — a four-game average of 56.3 points per game. His streak ended when he was “held” to just 43 points.


“I marvel at this young man's competitive drive to reach excellence all the time and what he puts into every game, his ability to drive his team forward and make the game competitive night after night even when we've had disappointing endings,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson once said of Bryant.


His life came to a tragic end on Jan. 26, 2020, when a helicopter with Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, six family friends and the pilot crashed in California. He was just 41.


“Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players,” tweeted basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. “But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete.”


Halls of Fame:

  • Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as an individual player (2020).
  • Inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame (2020).


  • Following his tragic death, the NBA renamed the All-Star Game MVP Award the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award in his honor.

  • Named by The Sporting News and TNT the NBA player of the decade for the 2000s.

  • ESPN in 2008 and in 2016 ranked him the second-greatest shooting guard of all time after Jordan.

  • Member of the 2008 USA National Team and U.S. Olympic Team that was named USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year and the USA Basketball Team of the Year.

  • Both the Nos. 8 and 24 he wore during his Los Angeles Lakers career were retired by the Lakers on Dec. 18, 2017.

USA Basketball Notes:

  • Gold Medals: 2008 and 2012 Olympics; 2007 Tournament of the Americas.

  • Played on five USA Basketball teams and compiled an overall win-loss record of 36-0, winning three gold medals.

  • Wore No. 10 with U.S. Olympic teams in 2008 and 2012 and the 2007 USA Tournament of the Americas Team.

  • Member of the 2012 gold medalist U.S. Olympic Team that finished with a perfect 8-0 record. Played and started in all eight games, averaged 17.3 minutes, 12.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Shot 42.9% from the field, 43.6% from 3-point and 90.9% (20-22 FTs) from the foul line.

  • Made four-straight 3-pointers in a 67-second span in the fourth quarter to help the U.S overpower Australia 119-86 in its 2012 quarterfinal game. Scored 17 points versus Spain in the USA’s 107-100 win in the Olympic gold medal game.

  • Member of the 2012 USA Men’s National Team, started in all five exhibition games, averaged 21.0 minutes, 8.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals a game. Shot 40.0% from the field, 27.8% from 3-point and 80.0% from the foul line. 

  • Member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team that finished 8-0 and won the gold medal.  Started in all eight games, averaged 23.5 minutes, 15.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists a game. Shot 46.2% from the field, 32.1% from 3-point and 58.3% from the foul line.

  • Turned in a 25-point performance in the USA’s 116-85 victory of Australia. Recorded 20 points, including a critical 3-pointer and the ensuing free throw for a four-point play that pushed the U.S. ahead of Spain 108-99, as the USA went on to earn a hard-fought 118-107 gold-medal victory against Spain.

  • Member of the 2008 USA National Team that finished its pre-Olympic tour with a 5-0 record. Started in all five games, averaged 23.0 minutes, 13.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals a game. Shot 50.0% from the field, 36.8% from 3-point and 70.0% from the foul line.

  • Member of the 2007 USA FIBA Americas Championship Team that finished 10-0, won gold and qualified the United States men for the 2008 Olympics. Started in all 10 of the USA’s games, averaged a team second-most (tied) 19.9 minutes, a team third-best 15.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists (fourth highest on team) and a team-leading 1.6 steals a game. Shot 54.8% (51-93 FGs) from the field, 45.9% (17-37 3pt FGs) from 3-point and 87.2% (34-39 FTs) from the foul line. Ranked third on the team for made and attempted free throws, ranked fourth for made field goals and made 3-pointers.

  • Scored 27 points in a 91-76 victory versus Argentina on Aug. 30, 2007, in the final second-round game.

  • Ranked among all FIBA Americas Championship competitors 15th in scoring, 14th in assists, eighth in steals, 14th in 3-point percentage and third in free throw percentage.

  • In the 2007 State Farm USA Basketball Challenge, helped lead the USA Blue Team to a come-from-behind 105-104 victory and recorded 26 points (10-22 FGs, 4-9 3pt FGs, 2-2 FTs) and added four rebounds, five assists and five steals in 31 minutes. He drained the game-winner on a 14-foot jumper above the foul line with :06 left in the game.

  • Forced out of basketball action for the 2006 USA National Team and FIBA World Cup after having minor surgery on his right knee on July 15, 2006.

  • Named on March 5, 2006, to the 2006-2008 USA Basketball Men's National Team.

  • Was originally selected for the 2003 USA Americas Championship Team but withdrew after undergoing arthroscopic shoulder and knee surgeries.

USA Basketball Records:

  • In U.S. men's Olympic career records ranks tied for fourth for games (16), fifth for field goals attempted (174), third for 3-point field goals made (34) and third for 3-point field goals attempted (92).

  • Ranks third in U.S. men's Olympic competition records for field goals attempted with 104 (2008), second and third in 3-point field goals attempted (53 in 2008 and 52 in 2012) and tied for fifth in 3-point field goals made with 17 (2008 and 2012).

NBA Milestones:

  • Was at the time the youngest player to score 30,000 career points (34 years, 104 days); 28,000 points (33 years, 131 days), 26,000 points, 24,00 points 20,000 points, 15,000 points and 10,000 points (24 years, 193 days).

  • Was the first player in NBA history to record at least 30,000 career points and 6,000 career assists and was one of only four players with 25,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, and 6,000 assists.

  • Became just the second Laker to reach 1,000 career games with the franchise versus Memphis (2/23/10).

  • Set NBA record for most made 3-point field goals in one game with 12 versus Seattle SuperSonics (1/7/03), tied NBA record for most 3-pointers made in one half with eight (3/28/03).

  • Ranks third in NBA history (behind Chamberlain -118; Jordan - 31) and first in Laker franchise history with 25 career 50-plus point games.

  • Assembled in February 2003 one of the greatest individual scoring streaks in NBA history.  Became just the second player in NBA history and the first Lakers player to score 50 or more points in four consecutive games, joining Chamberlain, who holds the record with seven consecutive games of 50 or more points (December 1961). Recorded 65 points in a win against the Portland Blazers (3/16/07), 50 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves (3/18/07), 60 points in a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies (3/22/07) and 50 points in a win over the Charlotte Hornets (3/23/07). His streak was snapped on March 25 when he was held to 43 points in a 115-113 win over Golden State Warriors.

  • Scored 81 points (28-46 FGs, 7-13 3pt FGs, 18-20 FTs) in 41:56 against Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006, the second most all-time in NBA history.

  • Made his NBA debut against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 3, 1996, at the age of 18 years, 2 months and 11 days old. Lists as the second-youngest player in Laker history (behind Andrew Bynum) to appear in a regular season game and was the third-youngest player to appear in an NBA game (Bynum and Jermaine O'Neal).


NBA Highlights:

  • Played 20 NBA seasons (1996-97 to 2015-16) with the Los Angeles Lakers.

  • Led Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA Championships (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010).

  • Played in 1,346 NBA regular season games, started in 1,198 games, compiled 48,637 minutes (36.1 mpg.), 33,643 points (25.0 ppg.), 7,047 rebounds (5.2 rpg.), 6,306 assists (6.7 apg.) and 1,944 steals (1.4 spg.). Shot 44.7% from the field, 32.9% from 3-point and 83.7% from the foul line.

  • In NBA career statistics, ranks fourth in points (33,643), 13th in points averaged (25.0), 15th in games played (1,346), 41st in minutes averaged (36.1), ninth in minutes played (48,637), seventh in field goals made (11,719), third in field goals attempted (26,200), 17th in 3-point field goals made (1,927), 11th in 3-point field goals attempted (5,546), third in free throws made (8,378), sixth in free throws attempted (10,011), 95th in free throw percentage (.837%), 31st in assists (6,306), 16th in steals (1,944) and 22nd in triple-doubles (21).

  • Appeared in 220 career NBA Playoff games, started 200 games, compiled 5,640 points (25.6 ppg.), 1,119 rebounds (5.1) rpg., 1,040 assists (4.7 apg.,), and 310 steals (1.4 spg.). Shot 44.8% from the field, 33.1% from 3-point and 81.6% from the foul line.

  • Selected NBA Most Valuable Player in 2008.

  • Twice selected NBA Finals MVP (2009 and 2010).

  • Two-time NBA scoring champion (35.4 ppg. in 2006, 31.6 ppg. in 2007).

  • Selected All-NBA first team 11 times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), All-NBA second team two times (2000, 2001) and All-NBA third team two times (1999, 2005).

  • Named NBA All-Defensive first team nine times (2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011) and NBA All-Defensive second team three times (2001, 2002 and 2012).

  • Named 1997 NBA All-Rookie second team.

  • Selected as an NBA All-Star 18 times (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016), the second most ever (Abdul-Jabbar played in 19).

  • Became the youngest starter in an NBA All-Star game when he started in the 1998 All-Star Game in Madison Square Garden in New York. He was 19 years, 170 days old.

  • Named the NBA All-Star Game MVP four times (2002, 2004, 2009 and 2011).

  • Played in 15 NBA All-Star Games, started in 15 games, averaged 23.8 mpg., 19.3 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 4.7 apg. and 2.5 spg. Shot 50.0% from the field, 32.4% from 3-point and 78.9% from the foul line.

  • Participated in the Rookie Challenge and won the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, becoming the youngest dunk champion at the age of 18.

  • Participated in the 1997 Schick Rookie Game and posted a then rookie game-record 31 points and eight rebounds.

  • Finished runner-up for the 1997-98 NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award.

  • Concluded his career ranked second for game-winning buzzer-beaters with eight, one behind Jordan’s total of nine game-winning buzzer-beaters.

  • Drafted in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets as the No. 13 overall pick and was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vlade Divac on July 11, 1996.


High School Notes:

  • Became just the sixth player to go directly from high school to the NBA.

  • Concluded his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in Southeastern Pennsylvania history with 2,883 points, surpassing the mark established by Chamberlain (2,359).

  • Named the 1996 Naismith High School Player of the Year and Gatorade Circle of Champions High School Player of the Year following his senior year.

  • Selected by USA Today and Parade Magazine as the 1996 National High School Player of the Year as a senior at Lower Merion High School (Pa.) after averaging 30.8 ppg., 12.0 rpg., 6.5 apg., 4.0 spg. and 3.8 bpg.

  • Led Lower Merion H.S. to a 31-3 record and Class AAAA state title as a senior and compiled a 77-13 record over his final three seasons.


Personal Notes:

  • Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Was tragically killed at the age of 41 on Jan. 26, 2020, with his 13-year old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in California.

  • Gave himself the nickname "Black Mamba" in the mid-2000s.

  • Won in 2018 the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his 2017 film “Dear Basketball.”

  • In his life after retirement, Bryant was often see sitting sidelines at a women’s basketball game – at all levels – with his daughter, Gianna, who was nicknamed ‘Gigi’ and ‘Mambacita.’ Even high school athletes such as four-time USA Basketball gold medalist Hailey Van Lith did not go unnoticed by Bryant, who appreciated Van Lith’s hard work and drive. “HVL” spent time working out with Gianna ‘Gigi’s’ Mamba team, coached by Kobe, in August 2019, and Kobe and Gigi flew to watch one of Van Lith’s Cashmere High School (Wash.) games just 15 days before their passing.

  • Bryant was a fan of women’s basketball and saw similarities between his game and that of four-time Olympic gold medalist Diana Taurasi, who he dubbed “The White Mamba.” Jewell Loyd was given the moniker “The Gold Mamba” by Bryant in 2015 when she was drafted.

  • The women’s basketball game was so important to Kobe and Gigi, who had planned on playing for the University of Connecticut later in her budding career, that three of the eight speakers at his memorial service at the Staples Center were UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, then-University of Oregon senior guard Sabrina Ionescu and Taurasi.

  • His parents named him after a type of steak (Kobe) seen on a restaurant menu prior to his birth, and his middle name, Bean, was derived from his father's nickname "Jellybean.”

  • When he was six years old, his father retired from the NBA and moved his family to Italy to continue playing professional basketball. He spent eight years in Italy and was fluent in Italian.

  • Son of Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant, who was a forward with Philadelphia 76ers (1975-75 through 1978-79), San Diego Clippers (1980-81 through 1981-82) and Houston Rockets (1982-83). His father averaged 8.7 ppg. in 606 career games in the NBA.

USA Basketball Statistics

2012 OLY   8/8 138/17.3   30-  70 .429   17-  39 .436   20-  22 .909 14/  1.8   97/ 12.1 10 0 9
2012 MNT   5/5 105/21.0   14-  35 .400     5-  18 .278     8-  10 .800 15/  3.0   41/   8.2 10 1 9
2008 OLY   8/8 188/23.5   48-104 .462   17-  53 .321     7-  12 .583 22/  2.8 120/ 15.0 17 4 9
2008 MNT   5/5 115/23.0   23-  46 .500     7-  19 .368   14-  20 .700 11/  2.2   67/ 13.4 18 1 11
2007 TOA   10/10 199/19.9   51-  93 .548   17-  37 .459   34-  39 .872 20/  2.0 153/ 15.3 29 4 16
2007 EXH   1/1   31/31.0   10-  22 .455     4-    9 .444     2-    2 1.000   4/  4.0   26/ 26.0 5 0 5
86/  2.3
504/ 13.6

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