The sudden demise of Kobe Bean Bryant who died on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at 10.am, alongside his 13-year old daughter Gianna and three others in a helicopter crash outside of Calabasas, California, at the age of 41 has left many around the world to extend their heartfelt condolences.
Prior to his death, Kobe was known to have had experiences added to his sporting career in basketball in several fields such as music, business, philanthropy, soccer, etc. to prove his prowess in those fields.
Here are some amazing facts you may not have known about the basketball legend.
Bryant, born on the23rd of August 1978, was the son of former NBA player Joe Bryant.
Bryant started playing basketball when he was 3 years old. The Lakers were his favourite team growing up.
Kobe, who was popularly named “jellybean” also learned to play soccer and his favourite team was A.C. Milan, at an early age.
He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships. Listed at 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) and weighing 212 pounds (96 kg), Bryant played primarily as a shooting guard.
Upon graduation from high school, Kobe Bean Bryant declared for the 1996 NBA draft and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick; however, the Hornets then traded him to the Lakers.
For the period of his third year in the league, Bryant was chosen to start the All-Star Game, and he would continue to be selected to start that game for a record 18 consecutive appearances until his retirement.
Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points at 34 years and 104 days of age. The record made him the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history on February 1, 2010, after he surpassed Jerry West.
Interestingly, Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2008.
As a rookie, Bryant got himself a reputation as a high-flyer and fan’s favourite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, leading to his being named an All-Star by his second season.
His foray into business came on August 22, 2016, when Kobe Bryant and his business partner Jeff Stibel launched Bryant-Stibel. A venture capital firm focused on different businesses including media, data, gaming, and technology, with $100 million in funding.
Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball in 2018.
Bryant made appearances on the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series All That in 2000 and MTV’s Ridiculousness in 2019
Bryant was a member of a rap group called CHEIZAW, named after the Chi Sah gang in the martial arts film Kid with the Golden Arm.
Bryant’s philanthropic lifestyle is not left out as he was the official ambassador for After-School All-Stars (ASAS), an American non-profit organization that provides comprehensive after-school programs to children in thirteen US cities.
Additionally, Bryant also started the Kobe Bryant China Fund which partnered with the Soong Ching Ling Foundation, a charity backed by the Chinese government.