Kobe Bean Bryant was an American professional basketball player. As a shooting guard, Bryant entered the National Basketball Association (NBA) directly from high school, and played his entire 20-season professional career in the league with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant was born in Philadelphia, on August 23, 1978. He was the youngest of three children and only son of former NBA player Joe Bryant and Pamela Cox Bryant. He was also the maternal nephew of basketball player John “Chubby” Cox. His parents named him after the famous beef of Kobe, Japan, which they saw on a restaurant menu. His middle name, Bean, was derived from his father’s nickname “Jellybean.” Bryant’s family was Catholic and he had always practiced his faith.
He attended Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high-school basketball player in the country. Upon graduation, he declared for the 1996 NBA draft and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick; the Hornets then traded him to the Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, and he was named an All-Star by his second season.
Bryant won many accolades: five NBA championships, 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), two-time NBA Finals MVP winner. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
In November 1999, 21-year-old Bryant met 17-year-old Vanessa Laine while she was working as a background dancer on the Tha Eastsidaz music video “G’d Up”. Bryant was in the building and working on his debut album. The two began dating and became engaged six months later in May 2000.
They married on April 18, 2001, at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point, California. The Bryants’ first child was born in January 2003. The birth resulted in a reconciliation between Bryant and his parents. Due to an ectopic pregnancy, Vanessa suffered a miscarriage in the spring of 2005. Their second daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore (also referred to as “Gigi”), was born in May 2006.
At 9:06 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on January 26, 2020, a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter departed from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, with nine people aboard: Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, six family friends, and the pilot. Due to light rain and fog that morning, the Los Angeles Police Department helicopters and most other air traffic were grounded. At 9:45 a.m., the helicopter crashed into the side of a mountain in Calabasas, about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and began burning. Bryant, his daughter, and the other seven occupants were killed.
Kobe Bryant Quotes
“I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. No matter what the injury — unless it’s completely debilitating — I’m going to be the same player I’ve always been. I’ll figure it out. I’ll make some tweaks, some changes, but I’m still coming.”
“My parents are my backbone. Still are. They’re the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.”
“Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise.”
“The important thing is that your teammates have to know you’re pulling for them and you really want them to be successful.”
“I can’t relate to lazy people. We don’t speak the same language. I don’t understand you. I don’t want to understand you.”
“I have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success. Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.”
“Dedication sees dreams come true.”
“I’ll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it’s sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot.”
“The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win”
“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great at whatever they want to do.”
“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.”
“Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.”
“I create my own path. It was straight and narrow. I looked at it this way: you were either in my way, or out of it.”
“Friends can come and go, but banners hang forever.”
“I realized that intimidation didn’t really exist if you’re in the right frame of mind.”
“Use your success, wealth and influence to put them in the best position to realize their own dreams and find their true purpose.”
“If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.”
“A lot of leaders fail because they don’t have the bravery to touch that nerve or strike that chord.”
“Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts.”
“Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.”
“When we are saying this cannot be accomplished, this cannot be done, then we are short-changing ourselves. My brain, it cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I have to sit there and face myself and tell myself, ‘You are a failure,’ I think that is almost worse than dying.”
“I feel like killing everybody every time I go to the arena.”
“I focus on one thing and one thing only – that’s trying to win as many championships as I can.”
“Better learn not to talk to me. You shake the tree, a leopard’s gonna fall out.”