Kobe Bryant is an American basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. At his 35 years of age Bryant has won the NBA championship five times, Olympic gold twice, he has been All-Stars MVP four times, NBA Finals MVP twice, NBA MVP once, twelve times All-Defensive Team, and he has been part of the All-Stars Team every single year subsequent to his debut (fifteen times). Bryant is the leading scorer of the Laker’s history and the youngest player to reach 30,000 career points in the NBA.
Kobe concluded his high school career as the all-time top scorer of his school with 2,883 points. He earned the USA Today High School Player of the Year, Naismith High School Player of the Year, Gatorade Circle of Champions High School Player of the Year, Most Outstanding Player at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, Named the Most Valuable Player of the 1995 adidas ABCD Summer Camp, and was part of the McDonald’s All-American Team. Right after high school Kobe declared his eligibility for the 1996 NBA Draft where he was the 13th overall pick for the Charlotte Hornets but was quickly traded to the Lakers for Vlade Divac. Kobe became the 27th NBA player to make a direct transition from high school to the NBA and the first Lakers player to make such a transition.
Bryant slowly rose to the top. He was a reserve on his first two years with the Lakers. In the 97-98 season Bryant was the highest non-starter scorer of the NBA and the highest reserve scorer for the Lakers. In the 98-99 season Bryant was the only player to start every game of the season. He eventually became one of the most important players for the Lakers and indispensable contributor for every championship they won.