American basketball superstar, Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash that happened in the city of Calabasas, California on Sunday, 26th January 2020.
The NBA legend, his daughter Gianna and some members of the Altobelli family were among nine people killed in a private helicopter which crashed and killed all on board.
A storm of tributes and reactions has followed Bryant’s death with many taking to the social media to mourn the late American star.
However, only a few really know who Bryant was. Hence, here are a few compilations of important things to know about the life and times of the late player.
1. Kobe Bean Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, United States of America.
2. He was the youngest of three children and only son of former NBA player Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant.
3. He was named after the famous beef of Kobe, Japan, which his parents saw on a restaurant menu.
4. Bryant started playing basketball when he was 3 years old, and the Lakers were his favorite team when he was growing up.
5. He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships.
6. Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP).
7. He married Vanessa Laine on April 18, 2001, at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, California and they had four daughters.
8. Bryant played his entire 20-season career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a shooting guard with the Los Angeles Lakers.
9. Bryant was the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons.
10. In 2006, he scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second-most points scored in a single game in league history behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962.
11. Bryant was named the regular season’s MVP in 2008. After the Lakers lost in the 2008 NBA Finals, Bryant led the team to two consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, earning the Finals MVP Award on both occasions.
12. He suffered a torn Achilles tendon at the age of 34 which affected his career. He recovered but suffered season-ending injuries to his knee and shoulder in the following two seasons. Bryant was forced to retire after the 2015–16 season due to the injuries.
13. He became the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history on February 1, 2010, when he surpassed Jerry West.
14. His four All-Star MVP Awards are tied with Bob Pettit for the most in NBA history.
15. He also won two gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics as a member of the U.S. national team.
16. Bryant died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, at the age of 41. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, was also killed in the crash.
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