Kobe Bryant Legacy


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Kobe Bryant at a game

Kobe Bryant was known as a basketball legend and great guy by all the world. With his incredible talent and zest, Kobe became known as one of the greatest basketball players of all time and is admired by not only fans of the Los Angeles Lakers, but also the basketball world and the whole community of Los Angles and beyond.

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Kobe was drafted as the youngest player in history at 17 by the Charlotte Hornets and traded to the Lakers where he started his first NBA game at the age of 18. The only other ‘pioneer’, meaning 17 or 18 year old that was drafted into the NBA, was Kevin Garnett . Kobe Byrant’s dad also played in the NBA, but then ended up playing in the European League, which is why Kobe moved from his home town in Philadelphia when he was a young boy to Italy. In Italy, he learned to speak fluently in Italian and also started to fall in love with soccer. He came back to the USA and played high school basketball at Lower Merion High School where his talents were so special that he was able to forgo college and go straight to play in the NBA.
Kobe Bryant is arguably the best player of his generation, replicating his game after Michael Jordan, his idol. There is no other player that played the game as similarly to Michael Jordan than Kobe. Ever since Kobe was introduced to Michael, he kept in contact with him to be able to talk about basketball and personal matters. He wanted to not only have contact with him, but Kobe had always strived to learn from the amazing player and even become better than him since he first started his basketball career. The few times they played against each other, Kobe would pick Michael’s brain to ask him questions about the game of basketball, and constantly improve himself and strive to be the legend he is known as today.
Unlike his idol Michael Jordan, Kobe did not go to college to play basketball and get his game further polished on the college level. Instead he was drafted as a teenager, straight out of high school. This situation of playing with those all older than him was likely to intimidate any basketball player, but after Bryant’s rookie year, he worked very hard to make his body become bigger and stronger to match all the older athletes on the court he was competing against. Once Michael Jordan retired, Bryant hired his trainer so he could use the same training techniques to build his body similarly to Jordan.
In his 20 year career, Kobe never had a major injury which made him miss out on an entire season. Although, he did suffer several injuries throughout his basketball career which he continued to work hard through, despite them being severe enough to make other players decide to end their careers. He had suffered injuries to his ankles a few times, and also had other wrist, back, hand, shoulder, and knee injuries. One memorable injury Kobe had suffered in his career was to his right (shooting) hand, when he had fractured a bone and a torn ligament. Kobe hated the idea of not being able to play so while letting his shooting hand heal, he started spending a part of a season shooting with his left hand, which he actually ended up being pretty good at.
Some would say that Kobe Bryant had different eras in his career: The Shaq and Kobe era, where they won three straight championships, and the Kobe and Pao Gasol era, where he won two additional championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant played together on the Lakers from 1996-2004, when they were known to have a fued on the court. Shaq and Kobe were a powerful duo, but personal differences about their respective goals on the team fueled their arguments and fued on the court. They may not have always agreed with each other while playing the game, but Shaq and Kobe actually got over their differences and became close friends.
During his career, Kobe Bryant continuously strived as a basketball player and had many accomplishments as an athlete. One accomplishment he had was making the second highest points in a single game after Wilt Chamberlain, with 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. Once Shaq, the de facto leader of the team, got traded from the Lakers, and Kobe no longer had Phil Jackson as his coach, Kobe was able to gain more freedom to release his talents in the NBA and started a spree of having incredible point averages made per game.
Another accomplishment he had was making third in the all time scoring list in 2017. What many don’t know is that when Kobe first started playing in the NBA, his coach would give him limited time on the court to signify that there would be no favoritism on the team. In fact, there were games where he hardly played at all. This rule did not apply for all teams and for very long, so Kobe actually did not have the opportunity to score the additional points he could have if he was rightfully given more playing time in the beginning of his professional career. He could have potentially gotten many more points and be higher on the all time scoring board.