One of the most prolific scorers of all time played his entire career in the Purple and Gold under in the city of Angels.
Born in Philadelphia, Kobe was the son of former NBA player Joe Bryant and nephew of former NBA player John Cox. He had basketball in his blood. When Bryant was six, his family moved to Italy in order for his dad to continue his professional basketball career. They would stay there for 7 years until Kobe’s father retired from professional basketball. When he got back to the United States he could root on his favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers, while earning national recognition at his high school, Lower Merion—located in a suburb of Philadelphia.
While Bryant averaged over 31 points and 10 rebounds per game his junior year, received interest from national powerhouses such as Duke, North Carolina, and Michigan. However, he decided to bypass the collegiate opportunity and enter the 1996 NBA draft right out of high school. Bryant would be drafted 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets but was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a draft-day sign and trade.
Bryant would emerge as a superstar for the Lakers alongside Shaquille O’Neal in the late 1990s into the early 2000s. Led by Bryant, the Lakers would win three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002.
On January 22nd, 2006, Bryant had one of the best games in NBA history. He scored 81 points in a win against the Toronto Raptors. To this day, it is the second-highest scoring outburst in a single game in NBA history, only trailing Wilt Chamberlains 100 point game. Kobe was such an elite player an extremely long period of time. He would lead the Lakers to two more titles in the late 2000s as he won consecutive titles in 2009 and 2010.
Bryant’s career accolades are right up there with the best of them. He finished his playing career with five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVP’s, an MVP award, and 18-time all-star, made the all NBA first team 11 times, a two-time scoring champion, and won two gold medals in the Olympics for the United States of America._x000D_