- THE BEGINNING OF HIS CAREER
- "Why would you even play baskeball if you didn't want to be the
best player who ever lived?"
- THE ADVANCEMENTS MADE IN THE NBA
- Who likes the thought of some young punk, freshly in the NBA,
having the idea that he is going to take over the league?
His parents named him after a type of steak commonly
found in Japanese restaurants, simply because they liked the way it sounded.
||To be called "greatness"
- Kobe Bryant began watching his father's basketball games and copying
his favorite moves when he was barely old enough to walk. His father Joe
Bryant (aka "Jelly Bean") played in the NBA for eight seasons
where he didn't get much appreciation, which took him to Europe to play
in an Italian league. The Bryant family, which also consisted of Kobe's two older
Sisters had to learn to adapt to the customs
and language that was strange to them. Kobe was young and captured the Basketball
fever early, by imitating his Father or copying the NBA stars that he has
seen on television. "From day one I was dribbling, it was the fact
that you could dribble the ball around everywhere. You could play the
game by yourself and envision certain situations."
In Italy, children grow up playing
soccer, not basketball, baseball or football. So Kobe often found himself
alone on the basketball court, where he often would play a game called
"shadow ball", in which he would try to beat the only opponent he
could find: himself.
- In 1991, at age of 13, Kobe and his family returned to the states to
Philadelphia where Kobe attended the Highschool of Lower Merion. At this
stage of his life, his basketball talents where far past anyone else’s
skills of his age. He made the varsity Basketball team "ACES" his freshman year,
where he quickly established himself over the next years as one of the
most promising athletes in his league. His junior year ( 94 - 95 )
the ACES got into the AAAA Pennsylvania state playoffs by capturing
the Central League title, which was lost. However in his senior year,
Kobe led the team to the school's first state championship.
- Kobe decided to join the NBA after Highschool. The Los Angeles Lakers
had the 27th pick in the Draft and were deeply interested in Kobe since
Jerry West claimed that Kobe had the best workout he had ever seen in his
life, while spending time working out with NBA teams. The
Charlotte Hornets drafted Kobe with the 13th pick that came by surprise
since it was one of the teams that he did not work out with, who just
wanted him for trading purposes claiming that he was just a kid.
The Lakers were pursuing the new hottest free agent Shaquille O'Neil as
vigorously as they were pursuing Kobe. Eventually Kobe got traded for
the 7' 1" center Vlade Divac and Shaq had been captured to form one
of the soon to come greatest Dual.
- KB signed a 3 year, $ 3.5 million dollar contract with the Los
Angeles Lakers. The number 8 jersey that represents Kobe came along
by adding all the numbers of his Highschool jersey number, 143.
In the 1997 year Kobe won the Slam-Dunk contest where he impressed
the judges with passing the ball between his legs and throwing down
a ferocious, rim-shaking windmill jam which scored a nearly perfect
49 points. This was also the year of his new signature shoe KB8.
- While many players, including some of his teammates, were taking a
few weeks of vacation, Kobe was hard at work. "I would feel uncomfortable
if I took a week off. I just want to play. I would feel uncomfortable if
I didn't play, didn't touch a basketball." He played in the annual Magic
Johnson All-Star game, a charity event to benefit the United Negro College
Fund, where he stole the show by scoring a game high 35 points.
- This is the year the glory begins. The Los Angeles Lakers manage to hire Phil Jackson
to be their head coach. Already establishing himself as a promising coach from the Chicago
Bulls where he had won 6 championship rings. He not only united the gifted
players of the ballclub but also lead Lakers to the Championship Title 2000.
Kobe had won his first Ring at age of 21. What else beholds him, in his future?
- Can you believe it. "SHAQ calling Kobe the best player in ball league
during the semi-finals? All to well did they know, pumping one another up
would lead them to another Championship ring, to begin the Dynasty.