Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
Photo: Twitter/ Kevin Oestreicher

Considered by many as one of the greatest players of all time, Kobe Bryant had a career out of which dreams are made of.

Starting his career with the LA Lakers in 1996, he went to make his debut for the team in January 1997 and set the record for being the youngest NBA player to start a game. He was just 18 years and 158 days old.

Drafted by Charlotte Hornets in 1996 and traded to Lakers in the same year, the one-franchise man turned out to be one of the most legendary players of LA Lakers. His NBA All-Star game appearances earned him the record for most wins of the NBA all-star game MVP with four games.

In December 2012, he became the youngest player to score 30,000 in a career at the age of 34 years and 6000 career assists. He also holds the record of most three-point field goals by an individual in an NBA game.

He also was Lakers’ all-time leading scorer. He also has the joint-most number of titles in franchise history – five titles. In 2006, his 81-point performance against Toronto was the second-highest point tally in NBA history. He was also an 18-time all-star, ranking behind the legendary Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s 19.

Kobe was also an important member of the United States Olympic team which won gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

In 2010, he became the youngest basketball player to appear in 1,000 games. Soon, his career was disrupted by career-threatening injuries which included a torn Achilles tendon and a catastrophic knee fracture.

Despite these hard times, Bryant managed to overtake Michael Jordan for the third-place on NBA’s all-time scoring list in December 2014 behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. He was recently surpassed by LeBron James on 25 January 2020 for the third spot.

Kobe Bryant is the only player in NBA history to have two number retired by the same team. He wore the No. 8 jersey in the first-half of his career and then switched to No. 24 ahead of the 2006/07 season.

The multiple world-record-holding superstar had announced his retirement from basketball back in 2016.

Kobe Bryant’s last tweet is him congratulating Lebron James on overtaking him.

Kobe was also known as ‘Black Mamba’, a term which he coined for himself. In his 2015 documentary, 'Muse', Kobe revealed the origin of ‘Black Mamba’. In his documentary, he said, “I went from a person who was at the top of his game, had everything coming, to a year later, having absolutely no idea where life is going or if you are even going to be a part of life as we all know it.”

Although he didn’t reveal what he was talking about, it is presumed that he was talking about the charges of sexual assault which were levelled at him back in 2003 at Colorado by a 19-year-old woman. He hints that the case shattered his family and changed the perception of his fans on him.

Kobe disclosed that it was at that time that he coined the name ‘Black Mamba’, to separate his personal and professional life.

Sadly, he was killed in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and three others on Sunday, local media reported. His death is being mourned across the globe.

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