Kobe Bryant, or “The Black Mamba” as he’s nicknamed, is one of the most successful men to every grace the basketball court. His natural ability to find gaps in defenses and make near-to-impossible shots have made Bryant a 15-time All Star for the Los Angeles Lakers.
We love his knack for exposing defensive weaknesses and draining the open jump shot late in the game. His playoff heroics have helped him secure five NBA Championships during his time in Los Angeles. If there’s anyone in the game who could give Michael Jordan a run for his money as the best basketball player of all time, it would be Bryant. Indeed, in 2007 an ESPN poll of sportswriters voted Bryant as the second best shooting guard in the history of the NBA, behind Jordan.
Bryant is a prolific scorer and shooter, averaging over 25 points per game and is the best perimeter shooter we’ve seen in a really long time. His organizational value is astronomical, which is why the Lakers are shelling out almost $30 million to keep him on the west coast.
Bryant’s career began when he was just 18 years old, straight out of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the first freshman in years to start for the basketball team, but by the end of his four years, Bryant had started at all five positions on the court. He averaged over 30 points per game and was named the Pennsylvania Player of the Year. Coaches and scouts from across the nation lined up to recruit Bryant out of high school.
In 1996, Bryant entered the Draft and was the first guard to ever be selected straight out of high school. He was chosen 13th by the Charlotte Hornets. In one of the biggest trade blunders the NBA has seen, the Hornets traded Bryant to the Lakers for a starting center, Vlade Divac.
Since his entrance into the NBA, Bryant has simply dominated. Other players, including the likes of Wade and James, cannot match his success. We love those guys, but Bryant’s five-time championship career cannot be competed with. We keep going back to Bryant’s three-peat from 199-2002 in which he lead the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships.
If there’s any description of a Successful Man of Note, it’s a man who leads his team to three championships before his 25th birthday. It’s a man who rose from the ashes of an under-performing high school to become Naismith High School Play of the Year, Gatorade Men’s National Basketball Player of the Year, a McDonald’s All American, and a USA Today All-USA First Team player. It’s a man who is admired as a hard-working, dedicated pursuer of things of excellence. Welcome to the club, Kobe.