Kobe Bryant Early Life
Kobe Bryant (Kobe Bean Bryant) was born August 23, 1978, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Named after a Japanese steakhouse, Bryant is the son of former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant. Bryant spent most of his childhood in Italy after his father, Joe, moved there to continue his professional career. In 1996 Bryant finished his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in the history of southeastern Pennsylvania basketball. The same year USA Today named him the National High School Player of the Year and he also won the Naismith Player of the Year. That June he was selected by the Charlotte Hornets as the 13th pick in the first round of the NBA draft and was subsequently traded to the Lakers for Vlade Divac. The rest, as they say, is NBA history.
Bryant is one of the most decorated players in basketball history, and played a key role as the Los Angeles Lakers won three successive NBA Championships from 2000 to 2002. Despite making his league debut in 1996, the shooting guard’s first Olympic campaign came in 2008 when the United States claimed gold in Beijing. Bryant’s success on the court has seen him named the Most Valuable Player in 2008 and become a 14-time NBA All-Star. As of May 2011, he has registered five sixty-point games, 24 fifty-point games and 107 forty-point games for the Lakers. His career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 is the second highest score in an NBA game by an individual player.
In 2006, Bryant and his wife Vanessa launched their Foundation to enhance the lives of young people through cultural and educational experiences. The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation (KVBFF) is dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families in need, and encouraging young people to stay active through sports.
Kobe Bean Bryant Biography and Profile
Kobe Bryant, born born August 23, 1978, has led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA Championships and is a 16-time NBA All-Star and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist. He is the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history and currently ranks fourth on the NBA’s all-time regular season scoring list. Bryant earned the league’s Most Valuable Player Award in 2008 and led the NBA in scoring during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. He was the 2009 and 2010 NBA Finals MVP and ranks third all-time in NBA post-season scoring.
Bryant has been selected fifteen times to the All-NBA First Team and twelve times to the All-Defensive Team. Bryant won the All-Star MVP award four times (2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011), and won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1997. Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. Selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, he became the first guard in league history to be drafted out of high school.
Who was Kobe Bean Bryant?
In 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 an avid 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. 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.
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.
In 2008, Bryant was named Most Valuable Player and carried his team to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics. 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. The veteran All-Star surpassed Michael Jordan for third all-time on the NBA scoring list in December 2014, but his season ended due to injury for the third straight year when he sustained a torn rotator cuff in January 2015.
Kobe Bean Bryant Quick Facts
Kobe Bryant Personal
- Birth date: August 23, 1978
- Death date: January 26, 2020
- Birth place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Birth name: Kobe Bean Bryant
- Father: Joe Bryant, a professional basketball player
- Mother: Pam Bryant
- Marriage: Vanessa (Laine) Bryant (April 18, 2001-January 26, 2020, his death)
- Children: Capri, June 2019; Bianka, December 2016; Gianna, May 2006; Natalia, January 2003
Kobe Bean Bryant Other Facts
- Bryant Height: 6 feet, 6 inches tall.
- His parents named him after a type of steak. The beef is from a species of cattle, Wagyu, raised in the Kobe region of Japan.
- Bryant lived in Italy for eight years while his father played in the Italian Professional Basketball League. Bryant spoke Italian fluently.
- Nominated for one Academy Award and won.
- He entered the NBA straight out of high school.
- In 1996, Bryant was the youngest player in NBA history at that time, at 18 years, 2 months and 11 days.
- He played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Bryant won two Olympic gold medals for men’s basketball.
- Bryant is fourth on the NBA all-time scoring list.
- He won five NBA championships.
Kobe Bean Bryant Timeline
- 1996 – Finishes his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in the history of southeastern Pennsylvania basketball. He leads the Lower Merion Aces to a season record of 31-3 and the Class-AAAA state championship.
- 1996 – USA Today names him the National High School Player of the Year and he wins the Naismith Player of the Year.
- June 26, 1996 – Bryant is selected by the Charlotte Hornets as the 13th pick in the first round of the NBA draft.
- July 11, 1996 – Is traded by Charlotte to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vlade Divac.
- 1996-2016 – Guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.
- 1996-1997 – Is named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
- February 1997 – Wins the All-Star Weekend slam dunk competition, but does not play in the All-Star game.
- 1998 – He is the youngest starter, at 19, in his first All-Star game.
- 2000-2002 – The LA Lakers win the NBA Championship three years in a row.
- 2002 – First of four times being named All-Star MVP. He’s also named in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
- July 18, 2003 – Bryant is charged with one count of sexual assault in a case involving a 19-year-old hotel worker. The charge accuses Bryant of “sexual penetration or intrusion and (that) he caused submission of the victim through actual physical force,” according to District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.
- January 19, 2004 – McDonald’s announces that it will not renew Bryant’s endorsement contract, which expired in December 2003.
- August 10, 2004 – The same woman from the criminal court case files a lawsuit in federal court in Denver. The woman, under the name of “Jane Doe,” claims Bryant raped her in his hotel room in a Vail-area resort in 2003 – the same incident alleged in the criminal charge against him. The suit is for an unspecified amount of damages.
- September 1, 2004 – The criminal sexual assault charge is dropped.
- January 22, 2006 – Bryant scores 81 points in the Lakers’ 122-104 win over Toronto. Only Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962 tops this performance.
- March 2, 2005 – The accuser agrees to settle her civil lawsuit. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.
- May 2008 – Wins the NBA regular season MVP award.
- August 24, 2008 – Bryant wins a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics as a member of the US men’s basketball team.
- 2009-2010 – The Lakers win back-to-back NBA championships.
- June 14, 2009 – Is named the NBA Finals MVP.
- February 1, 2010 – He surpasses Jerry West’s career record of 25,192 as the Los Angeles Lakers’ all-time leading scorer, with 25,208 points.
- June 17, 2010 – For the second year in a row is named the NBA Finals MVP.
- April 13, 2011 – Bryant is fined $100,000 by the NBA for making an anti-gay slur at a referee during a game on April 12.
- December 16, 2011 – Vanessa Bryant files for divorce.
- August 12, 2012 – Is a member of gold medal-winning US men’s basketball team at the 2012 London Olympics.
- January 11, 2013 – Announces on Facebook he and Vanessa have reconciled.
- April 12, 2013 – Tears his left Achilles tendon in game against Golden State Warriors. Successful surgery to repair the injury will leave him unable to play for six to nine months.
- May 8, 2013 – Files a lawsuit to stop his mother, Pamela Bryant, from auctioning off memorabilia from the beginning of his basketball career. Bryant claims he did not give his mother permission to sell the items. A settlement is reached in June.
- December 8, 2013 – Bryant returns from his Achilles injury.
- December 17, 2013 – Breaks a bone in his left knee in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies and will be out for six weeks.
- March 12, 2014 – The Lakers announce that Bryant will not play the rest of the season, after team doctors determine the fractured lateral tibial plateau of his left knee has not healed.
- March 23, 2014 – Bryant launches Kobe Inc. He also announces the company’s first investment is a 10% stake in the sports drink BodyArmor.
- October 28, 2014 – Bryant plays for the first time since December 2013, in the regular season opener.
- December 14, 2014 – Surpasses Michael Jordan to become third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, with 32,310 career points.
- January 28, 2015 – Undergoes surgery to repair his torn right rotator cuff and is expected to be out nine months.
- July 28, 2015 – Lakers Coach Byron Scott announces that Bryant may play a power forward position instead of his usual guard position, when he returns in October. Kobe has played the guard position since he was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996.
- October 4, 2015 – Makes his return in a preseason game against the Utah Jazz after undergoing season-ending surgery in January.
- November 29, 2015 – In a post on The Players’ Tribune, announces he intends to retire at the end of the NBA season.
- February 2016 – Bryant announces the launch of Granity Studios (formerly known as Kobe Studios), a multimedia original content company.
- April 13, 2016 – Scores 60 points in his final game, helping the Lakers defeat the Utah Jazz 101-96.
- December 18, 2017 – The Lakers retire Bryant’s jersey numbers, No. 8 and No. 24, during a ceremony at halftime.
- March 4, 2018 – Wins an Academy Award for best short animated film for “Dear Basketball.”
- January 26, 2020 – Bryant dies in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
Awards and Recognitions
- 5-time NBA Champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)
- 2007-08 NBA Most Valuable Player
- NBA Finals MVP (2009, 2010)
- Helped lead the United States to gold medals in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic games
- Has earned All-NBA honors in each of the last 14 seasons (First Team in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012); Second Team in 2000 and 2001; Third Team in 1999 and 2005)
- Has been named to the NBA’s All Defensive Team 12 times (First Team in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; Second Team in 2001, 2002 and 2012)
- Named a starter for the Western Conference All-Star Team in each of the last 14 games (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1998 – no game in 1999)
- Led all NBA players in voting for the 2003 and 2011 All-Star Games
- Earned MVP honors at the 2002 All-Star Game in his hometown of Philadelphia, in the 2007 All-Star Game in Las Vegas, co-MVP honors at the 2009 All-Star Game in Phoenix and in the 2011 All-Star Game in Los Angeles … Became the youngest player ever to score 20,000 career points & 23,000 – 29,000 career points, to be named to the NBA’s All Defensive – Team (1999-2000), to start an All-Star Game (1998) and to earn All-Rookie honors (1996-97)
- Won the 1997 Gatorade Slam Dunk Championship during All-Star Weekend
- Is the second youngest player in Los Angeles franchise history (behind Andrew Bynum) to appear in a regular season game in his NBA debut 11/3/96 vs. Minnesota (18 years, two months and 11 days) and is the third youngest player to ever appear in an NBA game (only Andrew Bynum and Indiana’s Jermaine O’Neal were younger)
- Has been selected Western Conference Player of the Month 14 times (November 2001, January 2003, March 2004, January, April 2006, December 2006, March 2007, February 2008, April 2008, December 2008, January 2009, December 2009, March 2011, January 2012) and has earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors 28 times (11/4/01, 1/20/02, 11/3/02, 12/8/02, 1/12/03, 2/2/03, 2/23/03, 2/17/04, 3/22/04, 11/13/05, 12/18/05, 12/25/05, 1/22/06, 4/16/06, 3/18/07, 3/25/07, 1/13/08, 3/2/08, 4/6/08, 12/29/08, 1/12/09, 3/16/09, 11/22/09, 12/20/09, 12/27/09, 3/27/11, 1/8/12 and 1/15/12) … Prior to that was named NBA Player of the Month once (December 2000) and NBA Player of the Week twice (April 16, 2000 and December 24, 2000)
- Captured the 2005-06 and 2006-07 NBA scoring titles
- In 2005-06, averaged 35.4 points per game (8th highest scoring average of all-time), passing Bob McAdoo for the 7th best scoring season of all-time (2,832 points)
- Scored a career-high 81 points (55 in the second half) 1/22/06 vs. TOR, the 2nd highest game (81) and half (55) point totals in NBA history
- Ranks third in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain (118) and Michael Jordan (31) with 24 career 50-plus point games
- Has 112 career 40-plus point games, 153 career double-doubles and 17 career triple-doubles
- Is the Lakers all-time leading scorer (regular season and playoffs) and ranks 5th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (3rd on postseason list).
Kobe Bryant Retirement
Although Kobe Bryant returned in time for the start of the 2015-2016 NBA season, he personally struggled alongside his young Lakers teammates. 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. After the game, Bryant spoke to the crowd.
“I can’t believe how fast 20 years went by,” he said. “This is absolutely crazy … and to be standing at center court with you guys, my teammates behind me, appreciating the journey that we’ve been on — we’ve been through our ups, been through our downs. I think the most important part is we all stayed together throughout.”
Kobe Bryant Net Worth
Kobe Bryant retired in 2016 as the NBA’s third all-time leading scorer behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. His career earnings were second to none though. Bryant banked $680 million in salary and endorsements during his two-decade career. It is the most ever for a team athlete during their playing career. Bryant had the highest salary in the NBA for the last six years. The five-time NBA champion still has his endorsement relationships with Nike, Hublot and Panini though he has moved away in recent years from straight endorsement deals in favor of being a business owner. In August he and entrepreneur Jeff Stibel officially set up a $100 million venture-capital fund, Bryant Stibel, to invest in technology, media and data companies. They have already invested in 15 companies together since 2013 including sports media website The Players Tribune, legal-services company Legal Zoom, mobile game designer Scopely, Alibaba Group and others.
Kobe Bryant’s Death
Fatal crash: Bryant was one of nine people who died when the helicopter they were in crashed on a hillside in Calabasas, California.
Among the victims was Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
NBA legend Kobe Bryant died Sunday 26, 2020, at the age of 41.
Kobe Bryant’s Philanthropy
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation (KVBFF)
In 2007, Bryant launched the VIVO Foundation — now known as the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation — in an effort to provide young people with life-changing experiences designed to broaden their global perspectives. Through this initiative, Kobe and Vanessa have sponsored international enrichment experiences for minority college students and provided domestic and international youth scholarships for the Kobe Bryant Basketball Academy. Following Hurricane Katrina, VIVO brought eight boys from storm-ravaged New Orleans to Los Angeles for the Academy and a red carpet tour of the Los Angeles area.
The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation (KVBFF) is dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families in need, both domestically and globally, and encouraging young people to stay active through sports. The Foundation provides financial resources, develops unique programs and raises awareness for relevant issues in order to strengthen communities through educational and cultural enrichment opportunities.
Kobe Basketball Academy
Bryant volunteers his time to Make-A-Wish Foundation, NBA Cares and The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and serves as an ambassador for After-School All-Stars. In 2007, he launched the Kobe Basketball Academy, at which he mentors and trains athletes ages 8-18.
Kobe Bean Bryant Family
Father: Joe Bryant, a professional basketball player. Mother: Pam Bryant. Marriage: Vanessa (Laine) Bryant (April 18, 2001-January 26, 2020, his death).
Children: Capri, June 2019; Bianka, December 2016; Gianna, May 2006; Natalia, January 2003.
Kobe Bryant Biography and Profile