87 Facts About Kobe Bryant

1. Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Kobe Bryant won five NBA championships, was an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player, and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.

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2. Kobe Bryant led the NBA in scoring twice, and ranks fourth in league all-time regular season and postseason scoring.

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3. Kobe Bryant was posthumously voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020 and named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.

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4. All-time leading scorer in Lakers history, Kobe Bryant was the first guard in NBA history to play 20 seasons.

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5. Kobe Bryant gave himself the nickname "Black Mamba" in the mid-2000s, and the epithet became widely adopted by the general public.

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6. Kobe Bryant won gold medals on the 2008 and 2012 US Olympic teams.

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7. Kobe Bryant died, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in 2020.

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8. Kobe Bryant was the maternal nephew of NBA player John "Chubby" Cox.

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9. Kobe Bryant started playing basketball when he was three, and the Lakers were his favorite team when he was growing up.

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10. When Kobe Bryant was six, his father retired from the NBA and moved his family to Rieti in Italy to continue playing professional basketball.

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11. Kobe Bryant became accustomed to his new lifestyle and learned to speak fluent Italian.

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12. Kobe Bryant was especially fond of Reggio Emilia, which he considered a loving place and where some of his best childhood memories were made.

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13. Kobe Bryant began to play basketball seriously while living in Reggio Emilia.

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14. Kobe Bryant earned national recognition during a spectacular high-school career at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, located in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion.

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15. At Adidas ABCD Camp, Kobe Bryant earned the 1995 senior MVP award while playing alongside future NBA teammate Lamar Odom.

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16. Kobe Bryant ended his high-school career as Southeastern Pennsylvania's all-time leading scorer at 2,883 points, surpassing both Wilt Chamberlain and Lionel Simmons.

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17. Ultimately, the 17-year-old Kobe Bryant made the decision to go directly into the NBA, becoming only the sixth player in NBA history to do so.

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18. Kobe Bryant debuted in the Summer Pro League in Long Beach, California, scoring 25 points in front of a standing-room-only crowd.

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19. Lakers advanced to the Western Conference semifinals in the playoffs against the Utah Jazz, when Kobe Bryant was pressed into a lead role at the end of Game 5.

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20. O'Neal commented that "[Kobe Bryant] was the only guy who had the guts at the time to take shots like that.

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21. Kobe Bryant was joined by teammates O'Neal, Van Exel, and Jones, making it the first time since 1983 that four players on the same team were selected to play in the same All-Star Game.

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22. The duo of O'Neal and Kobe Bryant backed with a strong bench led to the Lakers winning 67 games, tied for fifth-most in NBA history.

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23. In Game 4, Kobe Bryant scored 22 points in the second half and led the team to an OT victory as O'Neal fouled out of the game.

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24. Kobe Bryant ended up making the All-NBA Second Team and All-NBA Defensive Team for the second year in a row.

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25. Kobe Bryant claimed his first All-Star MVP trophy after a 31-point performance in Philadelphia when he was loudly booed by fans as they had throughout the game, stemming from his earlier comment to a 76ers heckler during the Finals that the Lakers were "going to cut your hearts out".

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26. At age 23, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player to win three championships.

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27. Kobe Bryant set an NBA record for three-pointers in a game on January 7, 2003, when he made 12 against the Seattle SuperSonics.

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28. Kobe Bryant was voted to both the All-NBA and All-Defensive First Teams, and came in third place in voting for the MVP award.

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29. Kobe Bryant made two buzzer-beaters to win the game and the Pacific Division title.

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30. Kobe Bryant endorsed the move, and by all appearances, the two men worked together well the second time around, leading the Lakers back into the playoffs.

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31. On December 20, 2005, Kobe Bryant scored 62 points in three quarters against the Dallas Mavericks.

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32. Kobe Bryant won the league's scoring title for the first time by averaging 35.4 points per game, becoming just the fifth player in league history to average at least 35 in a season.

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33. Kobe Bryant finished in fourth place in the voting for the 2006 NBA Most Valuable Player Award but received 22 first place votes—second only to winner Steve Nash.

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34. Kobe Bryant wore 143 at the Adidas ABCD camp and chose 8 by adding those numbers.

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35. The Lakers won the next game as well, but dropped Games 3 and 4, even with Kobe Bryant putting up 33.5 points per game.

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36. In early September 2008, Kobe Bryant decided not to have surgery to repair his right pinkie.

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37. Kobe Bryant was runner-up in the MVP voting behind James, and was selected to the All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive First Team for the seventh time in his career.

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38. Kobe Bryant considered the shot "one of the luckiest he has made".

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39. Kobe Bryant became the youngest player to reach 25,000 points in his career during the season, surpassing Chamberlain.

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40. Kobe Bryant continued his dominant clutch plays making yet another game-winning three-pointer against the Sacramento Kings, and what would be the game-winning field goal against the Boston Celtics.

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41. Kobe Bryant suffered multiple injuries throughout the season and as a result, missed nine games.

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42. Kobe Bryant won his fifth championship and earned his second consecutive NBA Finals MVP award.

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43. Kobe Bryant said that this was the most satisfying of all of his five championships.

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44. Kobe Bryant went on to score 40, 42, and 42 in his next three games.

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45. At the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, Kobe Bryant scored 27 points to pass Jordan as the career scoring leader in the All-Star Game.

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46. Kobe Bryant returned three games before the end of the regular season.

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47. Kobe Bryant sat out season finale against Sacramento, foregoing the chase for a possible third NBA scoring title, having needed 38 points to surpass Kevin Durant.

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48. On November 2, 2012, Kobe Bryant scored 40 points with two steals, and he passed Magic Johnson as the Lakers career leader in steals.

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49. Kobe Bryant was replaced by Mike D'Antoni, who Bryant knew as a child when Bryant's father was playing in Italy and D'Antoni was a star player there.

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50. Kobe Bryant was leading the league in scoring through much of the first 42 games.

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51. The 34-year-old Kobe Bryant was averaging his most minutes in six years, and only Portland rookie Damian Lillard was averaging more minutes.

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52. Kobe Bryant played in the first 27 games of the season, averaging team-highs with 26.4 points and 35.4 minutes per game while leading the league with 22.4 shots per game.

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53. Kobe Bryant was suffering from soreness in his knees, feet, back, and Achilles tendons and Scott planned to reduce his workload going forward.

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54. Kobe Bryant scored just four points in 25 minutes on 1-for-14 shooting, matching the worst-shooting game of his career in which he attempted at least five shots.

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55. On November 29, 2015, Kobe Bryant announced via The Players' Tribune that he would be retiring at the end of the season.

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56. Kobe Bryant requested that opposing teams on the road not hold any on-court ceremonies in his honor or present him any gifts in public.

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57. Kobe Bryant declined to play in the 2000 Olympics because he was getting married in the off-season.

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58. Kobe Bryant decided not to play in the 2002 FIBA World Championship.

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59. Kobe Bryant was originally selected for the FIBA Americas Championship in 2003 but withdrew after undergoing arthroscopic shoulder and knee surgeries.

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60. Kobe Bryant rejoined the national team for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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61. Kobe Bryant enjoyed being the villain, and reveled in being booed and then silencing the crowd with his play.

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62. Kobe Bryant was lauded for his relentless work ethic, dubbed the "Mamba mentality".

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63. In October 2021, Kobe Bryant was honored as one of the league's greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.

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64. Kobe Bryant is the fourth-leading scorer in league history with 33,643 points.

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65. Kobe Bryant scored at least 50 points 24 times in his career, which is third in league history behind Jordan and Chamberlain (118); six times Bryant scored at least 60.

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66. Kobe Bryant was just the third player in NBA history to average 40 points in a calendar month, which he accomplished four times.

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67. Kobe Bryant won another gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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68. Kobe Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, which ranks second behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 19.

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69. Kobe Bryant was chosen a record 18 straight times, each time as a starter.

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70. Kobe Bryant was selected to the All-NBA Team on 15 occasions, tied for the most with Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Duncan, and his 11 first-team honors are tied for the second-most with Karl Malone.

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71. Kobe Bryant was a 12-time All-Defensive Team selection, trailing only Duncan's 15, and nine times he was named to the All-Defensive First Team, tied with Jordan, Garnett, and Gary Payton for the most all time.

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72. Kobe Bryant was in the building and working on his debut album.

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73. Kobe Bryant was a lifelong fan of his hometown NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

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74. Kobe Bryant was a fan of soccer teams Barcelona, AC Milan, and Manchester City.

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75. Kobe Bryant is a second cousin of his former Lakers teammate Cedric Ceballos.

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76. On February 9, 2009, Kobe Bryant was featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine.

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77. On December 13, 2010, Kobe Bryant signed a two-year endorsement deal with Turkey's national airline, Turkish Airlines.

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78. Kobe Bryant was one of the global ambassadors of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

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79. In high school, Kobe Bryant was a member of a rap group called CHEIZAW, named after the Chi Sah gang in the martial arts film Kid with the Golden Arm.

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80. In 1999, Kobe Bryant appeared on a remix of "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child on the Maxi single version of the song.

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81. In 2011, Kobe Bryant was featured in Taiwanese singer Jay Chou's single "The Heaven and Earth Challenge".

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82. In 2012, American rapper Chief Keef released a song paying tribute to Kobe Bryant called "Kobe".

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83. Kobe Bryant made his acting debut in 1996, appearing in an episode of Moesha.

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84. In 2018, Kobe Bryant became the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and the first former professional athlete to be nominated and to win an Academy Award in any category for his film Dear Basketball.

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85. Kobe Bryant spoke of the injustice aimed at homeless people who are blamed for their situation, saying that homelessness should not be ignored or made a low priority.

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86. Kobe Bryant said he wanted more out of life than just a successful basketball career.

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87. In 2013, Kobe Bryant launched a production company called Granity Studios, which developed different media, ranging from films to television shows and novels.

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