Kobe Bean Bryant, is an American professional basketball player who plays shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Bryant enjoyed asuccessful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. He decided to declare his eligibility for the NBADraft upon graduation, and was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation asa high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest.
Bryant is a shooting guard who is capable of playing the small forward position. He is considered one of the most completeplayers in the NBA, has been selected to every All-NBA Team since 1999, and has been featured in the last twelve NBA All-Star games. Sports writers and sports casters have frequently compared Bryant toMichael Jordan, a comparison Bryant dislikes In 2007, an ESPN poll of sportswriters voted him as the second best shooting guard in NBA history behind Jordan.
Bryant currently ranks fourth and sixth onthe league's all-time post-season scoring and all-time regular season scoring lists, respectively. He is also the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. Since his second year in theleague, Bryant has started in every NBA All-Star Game that has been held with thirteen All-Star appearances, winning the All-Star MVP Award four times (2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011). He is a twelve-timemember of the All-NBA team and ten-time All-Defensive team, and is the youngest player ever to receive defensive honors. At the 2008 Olympics, he won a gold medal as a member of the USA national team. In2009, Sporting News and TNT named Bryant the NBA player of the 2000s decade.
Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. A heated feud...