Latest Articles

May 18, 2008

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant Vital Stats
Birth Name:
Kobe Bean Bryant
Birth Date: August 23 1978
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Height: 6’6”
Romantic Link: Vanessa Laine Bryant

Kobe Bryant Interesting Facts

Kobe Bryant speaks fluent Italian and is in the midst of the doing the same with Spanish.

Kobe Bryant performs a rap sequence on Brian McKnight’s remix of “Hold Me.”

Kobe Bryant Biography

Born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to former Philadelphia 76ers ball player dad Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and mom Pam, Kobe and his two older sisters, Shaya and Sharia, moved to Italy when he was just 6 years old, because his father was playing basketball in Italy.

While growing up there, Kobe learned fluent Italian and became easily accustomed to the lifestyle in Europe. In 1994, however, the Bryants moved back to Lower Merion in Philly, and Kobe attended Lower Merion High School.

Already standing at 6’6”, Kobe had a fantastic basketball career throughout high school and after graduating in 1996, he scrapped his original plans to head to a prominent college, and opted instead to head straight to the NBA.

Kobe Bryant joins LA Lakers

Bryant was selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996, but was traded that same year to the Los Angeles Lakers. Selecting Bryant was a strategic move by the Lakers because they wanted to free up money in order to land Shaquille O’Neal on their roster.

During his early NBA career, Bryant made quite an impression professionally, but he had a very difficult time making friends, partly due to his upbringing in Italy.

His first two years with the team saw Bryant spending a lot of time on the bench, as he was used mainly to cover other players. But once then-coach Del Harris was replaced by Phil Jackson in 1999, everything changed for Bryant.

Bryant became one of the best shooting guards on the LA Lakers roster, and he and teammate Shaquille O’Neal led the team to three consecutive NBA Championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Kobe Bryant marries Vanessa Laine

In 2000, Bryant met and began dating Vanessa Laine when he spotted the then 16-year-old on the set of a music video. After dating for only six months, the two became engaged and were married on April 18, 2001, in California. Bryant’s parents were opposed to the marriage and this led to their being estranged for two years.

Meanwhile, due to his excellent play on the court, Bryant became incredibly marketable and began doing spots for Adidas, McDonald’s, Nutella, Ferrero SpA, Spalding, and Coca-Cola.

Kobe accused of raping Katelyn Faber

Unfortunately for Bryant, he was accused of rape in 2003, and his whole world seemed to come crashing down on him. While he was staying at the The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera resort in Edwards, Colorado, awaiting knee surgery, he was accused of having sexually assaulted Katelyn Faber, and was arrested and formally charged.

That same year, his wife Vanessa gave birth to their daughter, Natalia Diamante, in January 2003.

Although Bryant immediately held a press conference in which he admitted that he had committed adultery, he vehemently denied having sexually assaulted the alleged victim.

After Katelyn finally dropped the case in 2004, she filed a civil suit, which was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Amid this whole fiasco, Bryant continued to play and he played well, although his reputation had been tarnished and his sponsorship deals with McDonald’s, Nutella and Ferrero SpA were dropped.

Kobe signs $136 million deal

At the end of the 2003-’04 season, when the Lakers failed to win the NBA Championship, Phil Jackson was not invited back to coach the team (rumors abound that that’s what Bryant wanted).

With the hardships of the trial behind him, Bryant faced another challenge: Shaquille O’Neal parted ways with the Lakers (once again, rumors abound that Bryant made it known that he did not want him to return) and it was up to Bryant to prove that he could carry the team.

Going into the next season, Bryant decided to sign a 7-year contract with the Lakers for a whopping $136 million US, rather than head to the Clippers, as was rumored for awhile.

Bryant went into the 2004-2005 season as the unquestionable leader of the pack, but although he was the league’s 2nd highest scorer, the Lakers ended up not making it to the playoffs for the first time in over 10 years.

Kobe signs with Nike

The 2005-2006 season saw the return of Phil Jackson as coach of the Lakers, a decision that seemed to bode well with Bryant. In December of 2005, Bryant managed to score 62 points during his 33 minutes of play; a record-high for him.

He then broke that record in January 2006, when he scored 81 points in a game against the Toronto Raptors. In February of 2006, Nike decided to launch a new signature shoe in Bryant’s name called Zoom Kobe I, paying him a whopping $45 million.

Bryant and his wife welcomed a second daughter into the world in May 2006, and life looks like it’s on the up and up for him and his family.

In 2007, Bryant managed to score more than 50 points in 4 consecutive games and his jersey became the top-selling one in North America and China. In December 2007, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player ever to reach 20,000 points in the NBA (he was almost 30).

Kobe and his two daughters

Nowadays, Kobe spends most of his off time with his wife and two daughters, Natalia Diamante Bryant and Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant (born 2006), and has since reconciled with his parents.

No comments:


AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Add to Google

Powered by FeedBurner