Kobe Bryant is an American professional basketball player who plays shooting guard for the LA Lakers of the NBA. Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School, where he was nationally recognized as the top high school basketball player. He decided to declare his eligibility for the NBA Draft upon graduation.
"You guys want me there, I am there and I'm ready to defend," Bryant said. "And then when you guys need me to put some points on the board I'll do that too."
Bryant was a key player on the gold-medal effort by Team USA at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, averaging 15 points a game.
But Mr. Bryant also seemed to be staking out a new position yesterday in talking about what happened in a hotel room near Vail on the night of June 30, 2003, when the woman, then a 19-year-old front-desk clerk at the hotel, went to his room. The woman said they kissed and flirted and that he then became violent; he said the flirting led to consensual sex.
It was 24 points for No. 24 Monday night with 5:08 left in the second quarter of a game in his hometown, the place where his basketball instincts were taught. It was good for fifth in the history of the NBA, 28,597 points over 980 games spanning 16 years.
Despite his explosive on-court ability, Bryant never engendered much MVP support until this season. He was third in the voting last season, fourth two seasons ago, and did not receive a vote three years ago when the Lakers failed to make the playoffs.
Finals MVP for the second straight season, Bryant had scored at least 30 points 12 times throughout the playoff run, while Phil Jackson had won his 11th championship as a coach and the Lakers were champions of basketball for the 16th time.
In between, Bryant managed to do some record-breaking. First, by simply taking the court, Bryant played in his 13th All-Star Game, which ties him for second place with Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek and Michael Jordan. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time leader, at 18. It is Bryant’s 14th selection, but he sat out the 2010 game. Bryant finished the game with 27 points, moving him into first place all-time in All-Star game scoring. He now has 271 points, passing Michael Jordan’s 262.
Bryant insisted he had nothing to do with the departures of O'Neal and former head coach Phil Jackson.
"That upsets me. That angers me. That hurts me," Bryant said of speculation that he was involved in the team's decision-making.
They may have had their differences in the past, but Shaquille O'Neal was quick to declare Kobe Bryant the "greatest Laker ever" when the guard passed him for fifth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list Monday.
Shaq claimed he later approached Bryant and told him: 'If you ever say anything like what you said to Jim Gray ever again, I will kill you.'
Bryant allegedly replied: 'Whatever.'
In 2004, O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat amid the Bryant dust-ups.
"I've been able to sit back and watch those guys go out and do their thing. It's an unbelievable duo."
Certainly, it's the best the NBA has to offer for now, and O'Neal and Bryant demonstrated it throughout the Lakers' playoff march to a championship, particularly in the clinching Game 6 here Monday when the Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers 116-111.
Eventually, Kobe found his father for an embrace and simply said to him, “I got one for the thumb.” And he did. His fifth title was the hardest, and it represented a distancing of his Lakers past – even on a night when it felt like Bryant was teetering on falling into old traps.
“Just got one more than Shaq,” he sniffed. “You can take that to the bank. I don’t forget anything.”
Kobe Bryant dropped in 81 points in a single NBA game. No, that wasn’t NBA 2k the videogame – which most people have trouble accomplishing with a virtual Kobe I might add – this was a regular season game against the Toronto Raptors; in a game where the Lakers found themselves down by 16 points.
What happened next was not only historic, but something we may never see from a perimeter player in the league… ever again. In celebration of the five year anniversary, let’s take a look back and remember the “81” from that special night on January 22, 2006.
Kobe is the best player -- better than MVP LeBron
"I always wanted to be a Laker," Bryant said. "It's in my heart. This is what I do, this the team I want to play for and have a chance to finish out my career here."
Kobe Bryant was selected directly out of high school with the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA draft by the Hornets and then traded to the Lakers and is considered, along with Micheal Jordan, as one of the all time NBA greats in his position of shooting guard. A five time world champion and perennial all star, Bryant rebounded from a period of personal problems to once again become a fan favorite.
KOBE BRYANT: They’re all one in the same. It’s just working, enjoying what I do. I think I’m really fortunate because I really love what I do. They’re players who do it because they’re good at it or use it as a means just to provide or accolades or adoration. That’s a different kind of motivation. When you do something that you truly, truly love doing, you find yourself wanting to do it all the time.