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Kobe Bryant is an American professional basketball player for Los Angeles Lakers. Throughout his carreer, he has played 13 times in the All-Star Game, winning four All-Star MVP Awards; knows what it feels like to be NBA champion five times, has been NBA Finals' MVP twice, has won an Olympic Gold Medal, was Slam Dunk Champion in 1997 and NBA MVP in 2008. He is widely considered one of the best, and most complete, players in the NBA.
Kobe grew up in Italy, as his father played in the Italian basketball league. When he retired, the Bryant family moved back to the US, and Kobe enrolled at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania. At school, he jump-started a spectacular varsity career, at the end of which he was considered by most analysts as the top high school player in the country. He decided to declare directly for the 1996 Draft, where he was picked 17th overall by the Charlotte Hornets. He immediately got traded to the Lakers, the team that has been his home for 15 years.
After two unremarkable seasons, in 1998 Bryant began to emerge as one of the league's best guards. Playing alongside Shaquille O'Neal, in 1999 the arrival of legendary coach Phil Jackson transformed the Lakers into a realistic championship contender. The team went on to win three consecutive finals (a "three-peat"), with Bryant and O'Neal rising to the elite class of NBA players. Playoff dissapointments followed until 2008, where the Lakers achieved their first of two consecutive championship wins (repeat). Bryant also played for the USA national team, winning a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics against Spain, and stating his willingness to participate in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
What I'm doing right now, I'm chasing perfection... and if I don't get it, I'm going to get THIS close.
"Black Mamba", "KB24", "Mister 81"
Los Angeles Lakers