Kobe Bryant is an institution in itself. He believed that sports are transformative. Thus, Kobe’s life mission was to transform sports and transform others’ lives through sports.
People knew Kobe was the Black Mamba. Kobe himself gave him this name as a Black Mamba is aggressive and agile, exactly how Kobe was in his games.
Although his life was cut short, Kobe left an impressive print in people’s hearts.
Kobe was an American Basketball Player who spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA (National Basketball Association).
So, who was Kobe? How did he leave behind a legacy? Why do people have so much respect for Kobe and his family?
If you want to know about all this, you are right.
Let us take a look at some quick facts about Kobe Bryant.
|Kobe Bean Bryant
|Date of birth
|August 23, 1978
|January 26, 2020
|Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Place of Death
|Calabasas, California, United States
|Mamba, Black Mamba
|Vanessa Bryant (m. 2001-2020)
|4: Natalia Diamante Bryant, Gianna Maria Onroe Bryant, Bianka Bella Bryant, Capri Kobe Bryant
|6 ft 6 inches
|96 kg (211 pounds)
|Sharia Bryant, Shaya Bryant
|Basketball Player, Coach
|Shooting Guard, Small forward
|Los Angeles Lakers
|NBA Most Valuable Player Award, BET Award for Sportsman of the Year, ESPY Icon Award, etc.
|Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
|Gold Rookie Card, Hoodie, The Mamba Mentality
Kobe Bryant: Ethnicity, Religion, and Body Measurements
Kobe belongs to the African-American community. Moreover, both of his parents are fully black, but their ethnic roots are unknown.
Likewise, Kobe was born and brought up in a Catholic family and practiced Christianity.
He also was fond of American/ Christian festivals like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter.
Kobe had a dashing personality as he was tall, dark, and handsome with an infectious smile.
He was 6 ft 6 inches (198 cms) tall and weighed about 96 kilograms (211 pounds).
Kobe Bryant: Birth, Early Life, Parents, and Siblings
Bryant was born Kobe Bean Bryant in Philadelphia, USA, on August 23, 1978.
He was the youngest among the three children of father Joe Bryant and mother Pamela Cox Bryant.
Kobe’s father, Joe, was also a former NBA Basketball player. Likewise, his maternal uncle John “Chubby” Cox, also played Basketball. Thus, Basketball was always in Kobe’s genes.
Interestingly, his parents named him ‘Kobe’ after the famous beef of Kobe, Japan, which they saw on a restaurant menu.
Likewise, his middle name comes from his father’s nickname, ‘Jellybean.’
He was born in Philadelphia as his father played for the Philadelphia 76rs.
When Bryant was 6, his father retired from NBA and moved to Rieti, Italy, to play Basketball. Thus, Kobe was fluent in Italian as a young boy.
Sharia is the oldest and was born on March 19, 1976. Currently, she is a businesswoman and socialite.
Shaya was born on July 30, 1977. She also is a businesswoman and socialite like her sister Sharia.
Thus, Kobe was the only child in the family that took after his father Joe’s profession.
After their death, in their honor, Sharia got a tattoo of Kobe and her niece, Gianna.
Kobe also has two older sisters: Sharia Daniele Washington Bryant and Shaya Tabb Bryant.
Kobe Bryant: Dating Profile, Wife, and Kids
The late star was married to his girlfriend. He and Vanessa dated from November 1999 to May 2000. In May, the couple got engaged.
Likewise, the couple got married in April 2001, and the marriage lasted for almost 19 years until Kobe died in 2020.
In 1996, Kobe dated the famous American R&B singer Brandy Norwood. The couple dated from April to July of 1996.
Likewise, Kobe dated American Attorney Jameika Williams in 1997. However, the relationship was relatively short and ended in the same year.
When Kobe was still dating Vanessa, the media sparked rumors that he cheated on her.
Kobe cheated on her with American singer Vanessa Curry in 2008.
Kobe faced another cheating allegation in 2011 when he was seen with Adult/ Glamour model Jessica Burciaga.
Jessica is famous for appearing in Playboy’s Playmate of the month in February 2009.
However, Kobe and Vanessa remained unshaken by any rumors, and Vanessa was always by his side. Their marriage remained strong for over 18 years.
Wife: Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Nee Laine was a dancer and model when she met Kobe in 1999.
Vanessa was just a high schooler recruited to be in Snoop Dogg’s music video.
Kobe met Vanessa as he was trying to launch a side career in music.
Bryant had a massive crush on Vanessa at first sight, and they started dating.
Vanessa’s classmates would freak out when she showed them pictures with Kobe, who was already an established basketball player. She was just 17, and Kobe was 20.
The couple got engaged as soon as Vanessa turned 18 and married months later.
However, Kobe’s family disapproved of Vanessa at first as she was Latina and not African-American.
On November 27, 1999, Kobe met Vanessa for the first time and thus took her on a Disneyland date 20 years later to celebrate its old school style.
Kobe and Vanessa always had each other’s backs and gave us major relationship envy.
Bryant called himself a proud #GirlDad, as God blessed him with four beautiful daughters.
His first daughter Natalia “Nani” Diamante Bryant, was born on January 19, 2003.
She loved watching movies with Kobe, and they both watched Harry Potter together.
Likewise, Kobe wanted Natalia to take over his business someday.
His second daughter was Gianna “Gigi” Maria One-Bryant, born in May 2006.
Gianna, unfortunately, met with the accident with her father and was killed tragically on January 26, 2020.
Gigi shared her Basketball with her dad and played Basketball for the Mamba Sports Academy. Moreover, she adopted the name Mambacita.
Their third daughter was born in December 2016 and is only four years old. Her name is Bianka Bella Bryant, and Kobe is nicknamed her BB.
Capri Bryant is the pair’s youngest daughter. She was born on June 20, 2019, and her parents nicknamed her Coco.
Kobe Bryant: Career
In just a few years, Bryant went from a decorated high school basketball player to an NBA sensation.
Kobe started his professional career in 1996.
When he was drafted into the NBAs as the 13th pick, Kobe was just a high schooler in Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia.
Kobe signed to Charlotte Hornets when he was just 17.
After some time, the team traded him off to Los Angeles Lakers.
As Kobe was still a minor, his parents signed a three-year deal for him for 3.5 million dollars.
Slam Dunk Contest
In 1997, when he was 18, Kobe participated in the rookie challenge and won the Slam Dunk Contest with a nearly perfect score.
The Golden Years and The Three-Peat
From 1999 to 2002, Kobe and his team were golden years, the Lakers.
In 1999, The Lakers had a great team with Kobe and Shaq O’Neal.
However, they still had not reached the champion form.
The Lakers then signed with Phil Jackson, who had already won the NBA finals three times twice as a coach.
Kobe and Shaq helped him do it again, for the third time.
With the unbeatable team of three legendary players, the Lakers won the NBA finals in 2000, 2001, and 2002.
The team beat Indiana Pacers in 2000, Philadelphia 76rs in 2001, and New Jersey Nets in 2002.
Fallout with Shaq O’Neal
Bryant and O’Neal always had a cold shoulder toward each other.
Shaq described Kobe as ‘selfish’ and ‘show-off,’ while Kobe hated how Shaq conditioned himself for the season.
However, they did not let their fallout affect their team’s performances.
The same year, Shaq demanded to be sent off to Miami Heat, and Kobe signed a 7-year deal with the Lakers for 136 million dollars.
Career High points
In January of 2006, Kobe scored an astonishing career-high 81 points against Toronto Raptors.
Thanks to Kobe Bryant, the United States Men’s National Basketball team rose from a humiliating loss.
The team finished Bronze in the 2004 Summer Olympics, which, according to many, was a shame.
However, Kobe’s incredible performance in the 2008 Summer Olympics helped the team bang a gold.
In 8 games, he averaged 18 points and helped the team win against the Spanish team by 118-107.
Kobe won his gold medal for his National Team in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Although he was 33 and aging, he still managed to save his team, averaging 12.1 points per contest.
On November 25, 2015, Bryant published a poem entitled “Dear Basketball.” He announced that he would retire at the end of the season through the poem.
He played his final game on April 13, 2016, while having a limp on his foot.
In April 2017, Kobe made a short film from his poem “Dear Basketball.”
Similarly, the film won the Best Animated Short Film Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards.
Moreover, the film also won Sports Emmy and the Annie Awards.
Launching of the Mamba Sports Academy
In 2018, Kobe launched the multi-sport training facility for young athletes in Thousand Oaks, California.
The facility is named Mamba Sports Academy.
The 100,000 square foot facility includes a biomechanics lab, cognitive training lab, and esports training ground.
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After having a fantastic career, we know Kobe’s career stats would look extraordinary.
The legendary Lakers played 20 seasons with Los Angeles.
Moreover, Mamba’s career averages are near unbeatable; some of the notable stats are:
- Games: 1346 season-regular
- Points: 25.0 per game
- Assists: 4.7 assists per game
- Rebounds: 5.2 rebounds per game
- 18x NBA All-Star
- NBA’s most valuable player of 2008
Kobe Bryant: Awards
Apart from championships and gold medals, Bryant also bagged some individual awards.
- 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011 All-Star Game Most Valuable Player
- 2007-08 Most Valuable Player
- 2009 and 2010 Finals Most Valuable Player
- 2007-08 Sporting News MVP
Kobe Bryant: Rape Accusations
The only controversy Kobe faced in his life was the rape accusation by a 19-year-old hotel employee Katelyn Faber in 2003.
The accuser stated that Bryant raped her in the hotel room.
However, Kobe confessed that this was a case of adultery. He accepted that he had a sexual encounter with Katelyn Faber, but the sex was consensual.
The accuser later decided not to testify in the trial, and the case was dismissed.
This accusation cost Kobe his reputation and many endorsements and deals.
Moreover, his relationship with his wife Vanessa was at stake. But Vanessa stood up with him through the tough time.
Kobe Bryant: Net Worth
Bryant was known as one of the wealthiest athletes of all time.
Kobe Bryant’s net worth was estimated to be around $600 million.
His wealth comes mainly from his salary and numerous sponsorships and endorsement deal with celebrity status.
So how did Kobe spend his wealth? He owned three mansions in California that cost him around $18.8 million.
Bryant also regularly traveled through helicopters around California, saving him from the long Californian traffic.
Likewise, he also purchased a $5.8 million house for his Kobe Inc. office.
Moreover, Kobe loved cars and once walked into the Ferrari dealership and purchased a 458 Italia for $329,000.
Kobe Bryant: Death
Millions of fans were shocked and devastated to learn about Kobe’s death on January 26, 2020.
A tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, took the lives of Kobe, his daughter Gianna, and seven others, including the pilot.
Moreover, after investigating the deceased bodies, the officials announced that it was, in fact, Kobe and her daughter who died.
They headed to a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy for Gianna’s match. The crash was apparently due to the bad weather condition.
TMZ first published the news about the crash before Kobe’s wife Vanessa even learned about it.
Thousands of fans and supporters gathered around Kobe’s Staples center and offered flowers and kind words to the departed souls.
Kobe’s funeral was on February 7, 2020. The great basketball player was buried in Pacific View Memorial Park.
Furthermore, the Bryant family held a memorial service in the Staples Center in the loving memory of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, and seven others.
The memorial service was held on February 24, 2020.
Likewise, three months after his death, Kobe’s autopsy reports surfaced online, and it was horrific to watch!
Moreover, the autopsy reports stated:
- Traumatic amputation
- Exposed fractured spine
- fracture of femur and hip
- exposed femoral neck
Kobe Bryant: Social Media
Kobe shared his whereabouts and his family life regularly on social media. He was active on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Kobe has 20.6 million followers on Instagram.
Kobe’s last Instagram post was of him congratulating LeBron James for overtaking him on the all-time high-scoring list.
Kobe also has over 15 million followers on Twitter.
Moreover, Kobe has an official Facebook account with 20 million likes.
Kobe Bryant: Quotes
Some of Kobe’s most meaningful quotes were:
- “If you’re afraid to fail, you’re probably failing.”
- “I don’t want to be the next Micheal Jordan; I only want to be Kobe Bryant.”
- “Everything negative – pressure, challenges- is all an opportunity for me to rise.”
Kobe Bryant: FAQs
What time did Kobe Bryant die?
While the exact time is unknown, the helicopter crashed after take-off at 10 am PST.
What time would Kobe Bryant wake up?
Kobe once shared his daily routine, in which he mentioned he woke up at 4:30 am every day. He would also be at the gym by 6 am and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Was Kobe Bryant inducted into the Hall of Fame?
Yes, Kobe Bryant was inducted into the Hall of Fame, but only after death.
The OG was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 15, 2021.
Furthermore, alongside Michael Jordan, his wife Vanessa was present on stage to take the award on behalf of the late Kobe Bryant.