Thursday, May 6, 2010
Did somebody say KOBE!!!!
Kobe Bryant was born August 23, 1978. He is a shooting guard who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career and made instant headlines when he decided to go directly into the NBA upon graduation. He was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant and then-teammate Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. After O'Neal's departure following the 2003–04 season, Bryant became the cornerstone of the Lakers franchise. He led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons. In 2006, Bryant scored a career high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second highest number of points scored in a single game in NBA history second only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point performance.
Bryant was awarded the regular season's Most Valuable Player Award in the 2007–08 season and led his team to the 2008 NBA Finals as the first seed in the Western Conference. He won his fourth NBA championship in 2009, leading the Lakers to their fifteenth title. He also won his first Finals MVP award. In 2008, he won a gold medal as a member of the 2008 Summer Olympics U.S. Men's Basketball Team, occasionally referred to as "The Redeem Team," a play on the name of the first Olympic team that featured NBA players, the Dream Team. Since his second year in the league, Bryant has started in every NBA All-Star Game that has been hosted, winning the All-Star MVP award in 2002, 2007, and 2009. In 2009 Bryant had the top-selling jersey in the United States, Europe, and China. In 2010 Bryant again had the top-selling jersey in the United States. Although known by several names throughout his career, Bryant's current nickname is Black Mamba. After having been represented by Arn Tellem, Bryant is now represented by Rob Pelinka. In 2010, Bryant became the all-time leading scorer in Lakers history.