Kobe Bryant – The “Dear Basketball” fans don’t want to miss
Full Name: Kobe Bean Bryant
Birthdate: August 23, 1978
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Star Sign: Virgo
Height: 1.98 m
Spouse: Vanessa Laine Bryant
Children: Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, Natalia Diamante Bryant, Bianka Bella Bryant, Capri Kobe Bryant
Died: January 26, 2020, Calabasas, CA, US
Kobe Bryant – A Short Note
The famous NBA star spent his early years in Italy and joined the NBA directly after he was out of high school.
He was a leading scorer and won five NBA championships and the 2008 MVP award as Los Angeles Lakers’ player.
In December 2014, he surpassed Michael Jordan for third place on the NBA all-time scoring list. Then he retired in the year 2016 after scoring 60 points in his final game.
Then he ventured into a different field and in 2018, Bryant won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball.
To the shocking of his ardent fans and sports lovers, his life ended shortly.
On the morning of January 26, 2020, Kobe Byrant, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed when the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California around 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.
Early Life of Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bean Bryant was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
His parents named him after a city in Japan. His father Joe, was also a former NBA player.
The senior Byrant shifted his family to Italy in 1984 after ending his NBA career, and started to play in the Italian League. His elder sisters Shaya and Sharia were also athletes and so Bryant had a good environment to grow as a sports enthusiast.
Bryant played both basketball and soccer well. He joined the Lower Merion High School basketball team when the family returned to Philadelphia in 1991. He led the team to state championships four years in a row.
Though he had good records in academics, he went straight to the NBA after completing the school. The Charlotte Hornets selected him with the 13th overall pick in 1996 NBA draft and then traded him to Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant started playing for Lakers. In his second season with Lakers, he was voted a starter for the 1998 All-Star Game and became the youngest All-Star at the age of 19.
He teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal and brought laurels to the Lakers. They won three consecutive NBA championships and won the first-team all-NBA from 2002-2004. Subsequently, he got big endorsements like Adidas and Sprite.
Though the team struggled after the departure of O’Neal, Bryant performed splendidly. He scored 81 points against Toronto Raptors in Jan 2006, and it was the second-highest single-game mark in the history of NBA.
In 2008, he won the Most Valuable Player award and led his team to the finals. In the finals, his team lost the match to Boston Celtics. But in the year 2009, Lakers won the final against Orlando Magic.
Shortly after the winning, Bryant took part in the memorial service to his friend and pop icon Michael Jackson. In the following year, the Lakers won the second straight title by winning the Celtics.
Bryant took part in both the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic teams and won gold medals.
He suffered a torn Achilles tendon in April 2013. Though he worked hard to return to the game, he fractured his knee during the 2013-2014 season. But, he surpassed Michael Jordan by getting All-Star for third all-time on the NBA scoring list.
Kobe Bryant Called It A Day
Though suffered from injuries, he returned in time for the start of the 2015-2016 NBA season. Then he personally struggled with the young teammates and in November 2015, he said that he would retire at the end of the season.
“This season is all I have left to give,” he wrote on The Players’ Tribune website. “My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.”
In a fitting bid-adieu, he scored 60 points in his last game against Utah Jazz and led the Lakers to win it. The game took place in a tightly packed Staples Center.
After the game, Bryant spoke to the crowd. “I can’t believe how fast 20 years went by,” he said. “This is absolutely crazy … and to be standing at center court with you guys, my teammates behind me, appreciating the journey that we’ve been on — we’ve been through our ups, been through our downs. I think the most important part is we all stayed together throughout.”
Won Oscar for “Dear Basketball”
In Nov 2015, during his retirement, Bryant announced it with the poem named “Dear Basketball” on The Players’ Tribune website. Then he made it into a short film with Disney animator Glen Keane and composer John Williams.
He came up with a beautiful five-minute short film and staged it in the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. It went further and reached the Oscars. Then, Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 2018 ceremony.
Kobe Bryant’s family
Wife and Kids
Bryant married 19-year-old Vanessa Laine in April 2001.
Though they had good long years of togetherness, on December 16, 2011, Vanessa filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, and the couple requested joint custody of their daughters.
Soon they reconciled. On January 11, 2013, they announced that they called off their divorce.
Kobe’s first child, a daughter, was born in January 2003. Then Vanessa suffered a miscarriage in the spring of 2005. Their second daughter was born in May 2006.
In early December 2016, Vanessa gave birth to their third daughter and in January 2019 the Bryants announced they were expecting a fourth daughter. The daughter, named after himself, was born in June 2019.