Today, August 23, is Kobe Bryant’s 35th birthday, and Lakers Nation would like to send birthday wishes to the five-time champion. Kobe Bryant was born in 1978 in Philadelphia, where he would attend Lower Merion High School. There he became a young basketball phenom, which propelled him to skip college and enter the NBA Draft at the age of 17.
Bryant would be selected in the 1996 Draft by the Charlotte Hornets with the thirteenth pick, but would be immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. This was the start of a truly legendary partnership that is now entering its 18th year in marriage.
Kobe Bryant has become a living legend in the basketball world since he stepped on the NBA court in 1996. His fanbase, backed by the most successful brand in the NBA in the Lakers, is arguably the most dedicated in all of sports.
Whether it is scoring 81 points in a game or scoring a plethora of game-winners, Bryant has provided countless memories for Lakers fans and has been the pillar of Los Angeles basketball for over half of his life, which is mind-boggling by the way.
We can write a thesis about Bryant’s accomplishments in his career, but we’ll try to slim it down with the following list:
- 5× NBA champion (2000–2002, 2009–2010)
- 2× NBA Finals MVP (2009–2010)
- NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
- 15× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2013)
- 2x Olympic Gold Medalist (2008, 2012)
- 4× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011)
- 2× NBA scoring champion (2006–2007)
- 11× All-NBA First Team (2002–2004, 2006–2013)
- 2× All-NBA Second Team (2000–2001)
- 2× All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)
- 9× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2000, 2003–2004,2006–2011)
- 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2001–2002,2012)
- NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1997)
- NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion (1997)
- Los Angeles Lakers all-time leading scorer
- Naismith Prep Player of the Year (1996)
Kobe Bryant is now preparing for “The Last Chapter” of his storied career in the NBA. While he has changed his intention of retirement and now wants to play another couple of years, Kobe is currently facing the most difficult challenge of his playing career. This season, Kobe will be returning from Achilles surgery, and while he has “shattered” the recovery timetable, it is still not known what type of form he will return in.
However, Kobe has had a favorable record when facing challenges, and his fans and all of Lakers Nation can’t wait to see him to return to the court. On this day, we celebrate the birthday and look back at the legendary career of Kobe Bryant thus far. We can’t wait for the countless more memories he is sure to provide.
Happy Birthday, Kobe!
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