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Kobe Bryant

Category: All Stars & MVPs, NBA
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Biography:

Kobe Bryant is an elite NBA shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has won five championships with the Lakers, and as of December 2013 ranks third in the league’s all-time postseason scoring list and fourth in the league’s all-time regular season scoring list. He is also a 15-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team.

During his rookie season as an 18 year-old, Sports Speaker Kobe Bryant became the youngest player to win the Slam Dunk Contest. His performance during the year also placed him on the NBA All-Rookie second team. During Bryant’s second season, he more than doubled his points per game from 7.6 to 15.4. Because of this success, he was runner-up for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award during the 1997-1998 season. With legendary coach Phil Jackson leading the Lakers, Bryant saw tremendous improvements in his game, being named to the All-NBA Second Team and All-NBA Defensive Team for the first time in his career. With support from the dominating center Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant and the Lakers won their first championship since 1988 during the 1999-2000 season. During the 2000-2001 season, Bryant averaged 28.5 points per game and led the Lakers to a second championship. The next year, the Lakers tremendously won the championship again for a three-peat, with Bryant averaging 26.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game in the NBA Finals. Because of this three-peat, Bryant became the youngest player to win three championships. During the 2005-2006 season, Bryant scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, which was the second-highest point total in NBA history. By the end of this season, Bryant had set Lakers single-season franchise records for most 40-point games and most points scored. In 2007-2008, Bryant led the Lakers back to a championship, earning his first NBA Finals MVP. Bryant won his fifth championship in 2010 in an intense Game 7 matchup against the Boston Celtics, earning his second Finals MVP. Since this championship, Bryant has become one of seven NBA players with at least 25,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, and 5,000 assists.

Bryant has endorsed a plethora of companies throughout his prodigious career. Among many others, Kobe has endorsed Turkish Airlines, Sprite, Adidas, McDonald’s, and Spalding. Bryant is the primary ambassador for After- School All-Stars, an American non-profit organization that provides comprehensive after-school programs to children in 13 U.S. cities. He also started the Kobe Bryant China Fund, which raises money within China for education and health programs.