It’s simple to identify one or two NBA greats who dominated their generation when you look back at the league’s past. In fact, you are familiar enough with them to address them by their first name alone.
Larry, Magic, Michael, Bill, Wilt, Kareem, and how could you forget Kobe.
Kobe Bryant was more than simply a basketball player; he was also one of the best scorers, leaders, and contributors to the current generation of stars who play the sport.
Bryant, the youngest of his family’s three children, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on this date in 1978.
Kobe Bryant’s family went back to Philadelphia when he was 13 years old after spending the majority of his childhood in Italy since basketball was always in his blood from the minute he was born. His path to basketball fame started right there, particularly while he was a student at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore.
Out of high school, Kobe was taken by the Charlotte Hornets as the 13th overall pick before being traded on draft night to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Vlade Divac, a player with experience who Charlotte thought might help them not only win games but also increase their fan base.
Well, that proved to be a costly error!
Kobe Bryant, who played his entire 20-year NBA career with the Lakers, is one of only three players in NBA history to have made the All-Star game 18 times in their careers, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James. Kobe Bryant ranks fourth in the NBA’s all-time scoring list, eighth in career minutes played, sixth in total field goals made, and he spent all 20 years of his NBA career with the Lakers.
A wonderful advocate for the sport of basketball, Bryant was often compared to Michael Jordan in his early years. Jordan, who is widely regarded as the best player of all time, had just finished dominating the NBA for the previous eight to ten years when Kobe Bryant was selected. In their eight encounters over the four years they spent playing in the NBA together, Kobe defeated Michael five times.
Throughout all of his time in the NBA, Bryant’s desire and devotion to improving himself in every game, practice, and off-day stood out more than his propensity for scoring.
Bryant was always in the gym, and even though he had scored 50 points the previous night, this was not good enough for him. Kobe Bryant inspired a lot of people with his Mamba Philosophy, an idea and mentality that was accepted not just in the basketball world because he always felt he could do something better.
While Kobe Bryant is no longer with us, his legacy of being the best version of yourself and constantly pursuing perfection will go on. Kobe will never be forgotten.
Bryant made sure he triumphed both on and off the basketball court. He is a legend of the NBA, a legend of the Los Angeles Lakers, and a true example of what it means to live life to the fullest.
Kobe Bean Bryant, happy birthday from above.