Despite the group of young players making big noise in the NBA (Lebron James, Dwyane Wade) the "veteran" Kobe Bryant keeps shinning brighter every year.
In 2005-06 he shocked the basketball world with his 81 points, the second-best scoring performance in NBA history and then led the league with 35.4 points. After another scoring title in 2006-07, Kobe got his first Season MVP in 2007-08 and will be the key piece of the USA Team at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Full Name: Kobe Bean Bryant
Nicknames: everybody calls him just Kobe, but he has some less known nicknames like "black mamba" and "Mr. 81"
Position: Shooting guard
Jersey Number: 8 until 2005-06, 24 starting in 2006-07
Birth date: August 23, 1978
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Teams: Los Angeles Lakers (1996-97 - present)
NBA Seasons: 12
Team Titles won:
NBA Championships: 5 - 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2008-09, 2009-10
Olympic Medals: 2
Personal Titles and Awards:
NBA Final MVP:
2 - 2009, 2010
NBA Season MVP: 1 - 2007-08
NBA scoring leader: 2 - 2005-06 with 35.4 points per game, and 2006-07
NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2 - 2002 and 2007
All NBA First Team: 6 - 2001-02 to 2003-04, 2005-06 to 2007-08
All NBA Defensive First Team: 6 - 1999-00, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2005-06 to 2007-08
NBA All-Star Game: 10 - 1997-98, 1999-00 to 2007-08
- On January 7, 2003 playing against the Seattle SuperSonics Kobe Bryant made and NBA record 12 three-point shots. Nine of those 3-pointers were on consecutive attempts, also an NBA-best.
The 2005/06 season was a great season for Kobe Bryant...
- On December 12, 2005 when Kobe Bryant went to the bench at the end of the third quarter, he had just netted a Lakers record 30 points in that quarter. But even better, he had 62 points, his career high by then and one more than the hole Dallas team. It was Kobe 62, Mavericks 61, the only time a player has done this through three quarters since the advent of the 24-second shot clock. With the Lakers up by 34 points, Bryant didn't play in the 4th quarter.
- On January 22, 2006 Bryant made history scoring 81 points in a 122-104 victory against the Toronto Raptors. It was the second best point total in NBA history, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain's legendary 100-point game in 1962. It broke the previous Lakers record of 71 set by Elgin Baylor.
- In January, Bryant became the first player since 1964 to score 45 points or more in four consecutive games. Only Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor did that before. Also in that January, Bryant averaged 43.4 per game, the 8th highest single month scoring average in NBA history and the highest for any player other than Chamberlain.
- In 2005-06 Kobe Bryant set Lakers single-season franchise records for the most 40-point games (27) and most points scored (2,832), among others.
- Kobe Bryant led the league in scoring for the first time, and he did it with the highest scoring average (35.4) since Michael Jordan's 37.1 in 1986-87.
- 2007-08 Season: After 12 seasons in the NBA Kobe got an award that was eluding him by becaming the 2008 Season MVP
Best Websites: Lakers Universe, LakersWeb.net, Kobe Bryant profile.
Other interesting information:
- Kobe Bryant wore jersey #33 while at Lower Merion High School but the Lakers had retired that number in honor of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, so Bryant chose 8 because his number in high school was 143: 1+4+3 = 8. Starting in the 2005/06 NBA season, he will switch to number 24. He says it has no relation with Michael Jordan's 23 and everybody says he took the decision after the release by Adidas of a shoe called Crazy 8 (his shoes are currently made by Nike).
- After Michael Jordan's second retirement Kobe was signaled as one of MJ's heirs (along with others like Vince Carter). Although the similarities are sometimes amazing (his movements, competitiveness, incredible shots and clutch plays) he has show many differences. He is not the scoring machine Jordan was and his general scoring averages are lower, but he is a better 3-point shooter than MJ and he's having scoring streaks that reach the level of Wilt Chamberlain. Despite the physical resemblance between the two players (6'6'' and around 200 lbs.) Phil Jackson has always asked Bryant to handle the ball more than he did with Jordan. Of course another difference is that Jordan has 6 rings and Kobe Bryant still has to show that he can be the main weapon on a championship team.