Having spent over 2 decades of his life playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, a time in which he won five NBA championships and set numerous records, it is no doubt that Kobe Bryant can be mentioned in the same breath as some of the greatest Lakers ever, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and Magic Johnson.
The 18-time NBA All-Star, who was named the NBA most valuable player in 2008, is also widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Read on to find out more about his greatness on the court as well as his life outside of it.
Bryant was born Kobe Bean Bryant to Joe and Pamela Cox Bryant on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and is the only male child of his family, having two older sisters; Sharia Washington and Shaya Bryant-Tabb.
Kobe Bryant spent his early years in Philadelphia before relocating to Italy where he spent the better part of his formative years, learning the language and the culture. Later in his life, his family relocated back to the United States where he attended at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore. Here, he earned national recognition for his outstanding basketball ability as he was named Pennsylvania Player of the Year in his junior year.
After graduating high school, Bryant received scholarship offers from top colleges like Duke, North Carolina, and Michigan. He, however, chose to forgo college and decided to instead go straight to the league by enlisting for the 1996 NBA draft. On draft night, Bryant was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick and immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers where he went on to spend the entirety of his career.
Kobe Bryant Family – Wife, and Kids
Kobe Bryant married his better half Vanessa Lain Bryant sometime in 2001. He met her while she was a high school student and within a pace of 6 months after they had begun dating, he proposed to her. They later tied the knot against the will of Bryant’s parents at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church California.
Their union has so far been blessed with three adorable children; Natalia Diamante Bryant (born on 19 January 2003), Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant (born on 1 May 2006) and Bianka Bella Bryant (born on December 5, 2016).
As mentioned above, Kobe Bryant is the son of former NBA player turned basketball coach, Joe Bryant, popularly known as Jellybean. His father was the reason why Kobe grew so passionate about the game of basketball, and thanks to his genes, he was able to exceedingly perform at it. During his playing days, Joe played for teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers, and Houston Rockets before moving abroad. He has now served as the coach of WNBA teams like the Las Vegas Rattlers, Boston Frenzy, and Los Angeles Sparks.
Kobe Bryant’s first contract with the Lakers was when he was a teenager. His first rookie deal was worth $3.5 million. After that, he put pen to paper to a 6-year deal worth $70 million. Over time, his contracts have continued to increase as he was earning up to $24 million dollars per year.
In addition to his salary, Bryant has also earned massively from sponsorship deals. He was once the brand face for organizations like Nike, Adidas, Mercedes-Benz, and so many others. From records, his deals with these companies are estimated to be over $300 million. Also, he has trodden the path of a business tycoon by collaborating with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel to launch a venture-capital fund known as Bryant Stibel. The company deals solely with investments in data companies, the media, and most especially technology.
Through all these endeavors, it is no surprise to see that 9-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member has an estimated net worth of $500 million.
Weight and Height
Just like almost all the players to have ever played in the NBA, Kobe Bryant is impressively tall. The longtime Lakers guard stands at 6 feet 5 inches (195.5 cm) and weighs about 212 lbs (96 kg). Mamba, as he is famously called, further has body measurements of Chest – 43 inches (109 cm), Arms / Biceps – 16.5 inches (42 cm), and Waist – 35 inches (89 cm).