Flashback Athlete of the Month for June 2021
Kobe Bryant was an NBA basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. He played shooting guard with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association for his entire 20-year career (NBA). Bryant 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 (MVP), and a two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also 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 (MVP), Bryant has also twice led the NBA in scoring and is fourth all-time in regular season and postseason scoring in the league. In 2020, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame after his death.
Bryant, who was born in Philadelphia and reared in Italy, was named the best American high-school basketball player while at Lower Merion. He declared for the 1996 NBA draft and was taken by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall selection; he was subsequently traded to the Lakers. He is the son of former NBA player Joe Bryant. Bryant established himself as a high-flyer as a rookie by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, and by his second season, he had been selected an All-Star. Despite a disagreement with teammate Shaquille O’Neal, the two guided the Lakers to three NBA titles in a row from 2000 to 2002.
Bryant was the first guard in NBA history to play 20 seasons, and he is the all-time greatest scorer for the Lakers. His 18 All-Star appearances rank second all-time, and he holds the record for most straight starts as a starter. Bryant is tied with Bob Pettit for the most NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards with four. In the mid-2000s, he earned himself the moniker “Black Mamba,” which became popular among the general population. As a member of the United States national team, he earned two gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.
Bryant perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others. Following that, a variety of honors and monuments were made, including the renaming of the All-Star MVP Award in his honor.