Kobe Bryant is the son of NBA player Joe Jellybean Bryant and his wife Pamela Cox, sister of NBA player John Chubby Cox.
Kobe Bryant entered the NBA at the age of 18 after a spectacular high school career in the Philadelphia Main Line suburb of Lower Merion, and was originally selected by the Charlotte Hornets.
Kobe Bryant never played for the Hornets; within weeks of being drafted, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Though young and somewhat introverted, Bryant's immense talent made an immediate impression with his teammates on the practice court.
Bryant's career trajectory as an NBA player out of high school has been exceptional. By 24 years of age, Bryant had won many individual awards, and had been named to the All-NBA team multiple times. He is regarded as one of the best players in the NBA. Bryant helped the Los Angeles Lakers to three NBA championships.
Bryant's youth, style, good looks and accomplishments on the basketball have made him one of the most popular and most marketable players in the NBA. He speaks fluent Italian and Spanish; he spent much of his childhood in Italy when his father played professional basketball there.
Kobe Bryant married Vanessa Cornejo Ubrieta Laine on April 18, 2001 in Dana Point, California. Kobe's father Joe Jellybean Bryant broke relations with his son because he objected to this marriage on the basis of the bride's race.
Kobe Bryant's daughter Natalia was born on January 19, 2003.
On July 17, 2003, he was charged with s--ual assault by the Eagle County, Colorado District Attorney's Office, after allegedly performing nonconsensual s-- acts on a Colorado woman who was visiting Bryant's hotel room. Bryant was set for a crucial court on October 9, 2003.
Although these charges were eventually dropped in the fall of 2004 and a civil suit that followed was settled, Bryant's tarnished image continued to plummet. His endorsement contracts with McDonald's, Nutella, and Ferrero SpA were terminated. Furthering Bryant's blemished reputation was the public rift through the Laker core of Bryant, O'Neal, and coach Phil Jackson. In well-documented episodes throughout their careers together on the Lakers, mainly over leadership of the team, O'Neal and Bryant have feuded in dramatic fashion. The 2000-era Lakers were built around the dominant center in O'Neal but Bryant seemed to tire of his formal role as "second fiddle" on the team. Bryant and O'Neal would often launch jarring verbal attacks at each other, including O'Neal's allegations of Bryant as a greedy ball-hog and Bryant's maligning of O'Neal as "fat." What is considered to be one of the largest blows to the relationship between Bryant and O'Neal, as well as a serious blow to Bryant's personal reputation among other NBA players, was the release of a police transcript of Bryant being questioned by Colorado police during the s--ual assault investigation. When the transcript was publicly released, it was shown that Bryant had brought up O'Neal's own alleged extramarital affairs in an attempt to deflect questioning from police investigators, as well as detailing the specific s-- acts that Bryant had performed with and requested from Faber during their encounter.
Kobe Bryant and O'Neal, the "dynamic duo", after winning their third straight NBA title in 2002. Bryant also clashed with coach Jackson. While efficient in Jackson's "triangle offense," Bryant had a personal distaste for Jackson's brand of ball and subsequently called it "boring." In games, Bryant would often disregard the set offense completely to experiment with his own one-on-one moves, incensing the normally calm Jackson. Bryant managed to test Jackson's patience enough that the "Zen Master" demanded a Bryant trade, although Laker management rejected the request. When Jackson's coaching contract ran out following the 2003–04 season and the Lakers failed to produce a championship despite sporting hall-of-fame caliber players Karl Malone and Gary Payton, in addition to O'Neal and Bryant, Jackson was not invited back to coach the team. Most fans attributed Jackson's departure directly to Bryant, whom Laker owner Dr. Jerry Buss championed. Buss also seemed determined to facilitate O'Neal's departure from L.A. Bryant was a free agent and O'Neal had two more years of record-breakingly high pay left on his contract.
Kobe Bryant and O'Neal putting an end to the feud with a pregame hug.For these reasons, many basketball fans have blamed Bryant for the break-up of the Lakers' dynasty after their one-sided 2004 Finals loss to the Detroit Pistons. Shaquille O'Neal was hastily traded to the Miami Heat, resulting in a complete overhaul of the Laker roster, with Kobe Bryant remaining as its centerpiece. Bryant re-signed with the Lakers for the veteran maximum salary after a long flirtation with the Lakers' Staples Center suitemates, the Los Angeles Clippers, but only after Jackson and O'Neal were out of the picture, and it was guaranteed that he no longer had to play "second fiddle" in an offense that didn't use him as the focal point.
Bryant's first chance at the helm of a team would prove to be a very rocky one, however. With his reputation already badly damaged from the proceedings in Colorado, Bryant was closely scrutinized and criticized in the 2004–05 NBA season. The first salvo came from Phil Jackson in his book The Last Season: A Team in Search of its Soul. The book detailed the sordid events of the Lakers' tumultuous 2003–04 season and hurled numerous harsh criticisms of Bryant. Along with other unsavory adjectives, Jackson called Bryant "uncoachable." Then, midway through the season, Rudy Tomjanovich suddenly resigned as Lakers coach, citing the recurrence of health problems and exhaustion. Without "Rudy T," stewardship of the remainder of the Lakers' season fell to career assistant coach Frank Hamblen. Despite the fact that Kobe was the league's second leading scorer at 27.6 points per game, the Lakers floundered and missed the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
When the Lakers faced the Miami Heat on January 16, 2006, Kobe Bryant and O'Neal made headlines by engaging in handshakes and hugs before the game, an event that is believed to signify the end of the Kobe-Shaq feud since the center left Los Angeles.
Awards and achievements
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