NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in California. Kobe was in the chopper with his daughter Gianna and seven other people including the pilot, who all died in the crash.
Kobe spent 20 years in the NBA playing for the Los Angeles Lakers which he won five NBA titles with. Kobe Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, He spent a few years in Italy while his dad Joe”Jellybean” Bryant played professional basketball there.
In 1991, when his father retired, the family returned to the United States. College recruiters were interested in him during his high school years at Merion High School in Ardmore, Philadelphia. At the age of 17, Kobe decided to go directly to pro basketball with the NBA, and in 1996 became the only first guard to be taken out of high school.
Here are interesting facts about the legendary NBA player:
- Kobe Bryant was named after Japan’s famous Kobe beef after his parents saw the name on a menu.
- Kobe’s favourite team, while he was growing up, was the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Kobe Bryant’s father was also a professional basketball player, named Joe ‘Jelly Bean’ Bryant. This was the inspiration for Kobe’s middle name, ‘Bean’.
- Kobe Bryant was the youngest NBA player to win the Slam Dunk Contest. It was the only time he ever competed in the competition.
- Kobe Bryant only won one NBA Most Valuable Player award during his entire career – in 2008. He did, however, place in voting many times including 2009 (2nd), 2003, 2007, and 2010 (3rd), 2006, 2011, and 2012 (4th), 2002, 2004, and 2013 (5th).
- Kobe Bryant is married to Vanessa Bryant, and they have four daughters Gianna, Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
- Kobe Bryant has won two Olympic Gold Medals for basketball in 2008, and in 2012.
- Kobe Bryant was an NBA champion five times in his career. Only Michael Jordan beat Kobe’s record by winning six times.
- Kobe Bryant scored 60 points or more in a total of 6 games during his career. Only Wilt Chamberlain holds the record for more with 7 games of 60 points or more.
- Kobe Bryant was named All-Star 18 times during his 20-year NBA career.
- During his 20 seasons with the LA Lakers Kobe scored 5,640 points during the playoffs. He ranks third place for playoff points scored during an NBA career, behind Michael Jordan, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
- Kobe Bryant scored a total of 33,643 points during his career. He ranks fourth for points scored, behind LeBron James, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
- In 2002 Kobe Bryant paid $8 million to get out of his endorsement contract with Adidas so that he could sign with Nike.
- In 2015 it was reported that Kobe Bryant earned $49.5 million, between his NBA contract and endorsement deals with various companies.
- Kobe Bryant earned over $328 million from his NBA contracts during his career. He is believed to have made over $680 million in total during his career from his NBA salary and endorsements.
- In 2003, only 2 years after marrying his wife Vanessa, Kobe was charged with sexual assault against a 19-year-old hotel employee. The case was dismissed but he settled a civil suit out of court.
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