Kobe Bryant Fast Facts
The death of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant earlier this month on January 26, 2020, shook the entire world to the core.
Not only was Kobey a professional basketballer but he won the hearts of fans worldwide with the things he did off the court.
He joined the NBA straight out of high school and went on to bag several awards and distinctions in his entire career.
In 2018, Bryant earned an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball.
Kobe Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia. He was the son of former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” and Pamela Cox Bryant.
His family relocated to Italy when he was younger.
He started playing basketball at a mere age of three years old. Growing up, the Lakers were his favorite team.
He went to high school in Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Philadelphia.
Bryant met his wife Vanessa Laine in November 1999 and the two exchanged vows at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church on April 18, 2001.
His wedding was not attended by his family as they were opposed to it.
Their firstborn Natalia was born in January 2003 and the secondborn Gianna followed in May 2006.
Their third daughter Bianka was born in December 2016 and their last born Capri was born in June 2019.
Upon graduation, he declared for the 1996 NBA draft and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick.
He was then traded to the Lakers. He was the youngest player in NBA history when he took the court in 1996.
In his second season with the Lakers, Bryant was voted a starter for the 1998 All-Star Game, becoming the youngest All-Star in NBA history at 19.
In the 2009 NBA Finals, the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic to win the championship. After twenty years of playing the game, he announced that he would retire at the end of the season in 2015.
In 2013, the legendary basketballer was hit by a rape charge from a hotel employee who said he sexually harassed her. Bryant refuted these claims and only admitted to adultery.
The case was settled out of court. His self-bestowed “Black Mamba” nickname has lived well beyond his career. Players carry having the “mamba mentality” as a badge of honor.
As Bryant himself has said, that means “constantly try[ing] to be the best version of yourself.”
Bryant’s former teammates Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal described Bryant the greatest player in Laker’s history, a statement that would be supported by millions of fans worldwide.
On the morning of January 26, 2020, Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. The crash took the lives of all the nine passengers on board.
Eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, and college baseball coach John Altobelli, were also killed.
A helicopter was the preferred means of travel for Bryant even after his retirement.
According to the New York Times, the helicopter was granted permission to fly even though weather conditions were worse than usual standards for flying.
Bryant and his daughter were reportedly on their way to participate in travel basketball when the helicopter went down.
Gianna, nicknamed “Gigi,” inherited her father’s love of the sport and hoped to one day play in the WNBA.
The whole world has been forced into mourning in the few days that have passed after his unfortunate passing.
Condolence messages have been sent to the family by everyone including fellow teammates and celebrities.
According to Forbes, Kobe left behind a fortune as he was estimated to be worth $770 million.
This takes into account his NBA contracts, his endorsement deals, and his other work. It also accounts for his charitable work and his investments.