- Height: 6'7"
- Weight: 200 lbs
- Date of Birth: August 23, 1978
- Hometown: Philadephia, Pennsylvania
- High School: Lower Merion High School
- Position: Guard
- Draft: 1st round, 13th overall, Charlotte Hornets, 1996
Kobe Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bryant is one of the few players in NBA history that have made a successful leap from high school to the NBA. He was drafted in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets after having an exceptional career at Lower Merion High School. However, Bryant voiced his desire to play with the Los Angeles Lakers and was subsequently traded to the Lakers soon after the draft.
Bryant’s NBA career started off slow, playing off the bench and recording 7.6 and 15.4 points per game in his first two seasons respectively. However, Bryant quickly began to establish himself as a premier player and the Lakers began to establish themselves as a premier team. Along with Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq), Bryant led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA titles from 2000 to 2002.
Since the championships, Shaq has been traded and the Lakers have lost much of their former glory. Bryant, however, continues to pile up the points and is considered to be one of the best players in the NBA. Since the 1998-99 season, he has averaged over 20 points per game every season, over 25 points per game six times, over 30 points per game three times, and has led the NBA in scoring twice. In January of 2006 Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second highest single-game point total in NBA history. A nine-time All-Star, seven-time All-Defense, and nine-time All-NBA, Bryant enters the 2007-08 season with career averages of 24.6 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists per game, and 1.5 steals per game.
Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades: