Kobe Bryant, NBA Superstar and Future Hall of Famer Dead
Top 10 highlights of Kobe Bryant's NBA career.
By: Jake Sexton | staff writer
On January 26, 2020, the world lost one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Kobe “Bean” Bryant died in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles. He was only 41 years old.
He was flying with Gianna (his daughter) and others to a youth game to be played at his own sports center, when the helicopter in which they were flying crashed in the hills near Calabasas in California, killing everyone on board. The victims included Mr. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter and two of her teammates, as well as parents who were traveling to cheer for the team. A coach also died, as did the pilot, who had years of flight experience.
Vannesa Bryant, Wife of Kobe Bryant had this to say: “Babe, you take care of our GiGi, and I got Nani, BB, and Koko. We are still the best team. We love and miss you Boo Boo and GiGi. May you both rest in peace, and have fun in heaven until we meet again … forever and always, Mommy.”
Former President Barack Obama expressed a nation’s shock, noting that Bryant “was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act.”
Kobe is survived by Vanessa, their daughters Natalia, Bianka, Capri, and by his parents.
In honor of his great NBA career, let's take a look at his top ten career accomplishments.
Kobe’s Greatest NBA accomplishments
10. Dropping 55 on MJ.
Yes, it was at the end of Michael’s career, and the Wizards were not close to being able to compete with the juggernaut known as the 03’ Lakers, but dropping 55 points on the man he looked up to and molded his game after is a memory that surely will always resonate with him.
9. Youngest Starting All-Star in NBA history
Kobe was constantly crowned the youngest to break a lot of records in the NBA, but one that he may hold forever is the youngest to start in an All-Star game. In 1998 at just 19-years old Kobe started alongside legends like Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, and Reggie Miller in his first-ever All-Star game.
8. 62 in Three Quarters against Dallas
This game may have been more incredible than his 81 point game, but unfortunately, he only got to showcase his talents for three quarters that night. It's crazy enough to drop 62 points in any game, but to do it in three quarters, while the other team has a TOTAL of 61 is just bizarre. Kobe single-handedly outscored the Dallas Mavericks through three quarters that night in LA with a line of 62 and nine boards, while shooting 18-31 from the field, and 22-25 from the free-throw line.
7. Career Games Dropping 40+ Points
Kobe doesn’t even realize how good Kobe is, in a recent interview he was asked how many 40-point games he has in his career, he guessed “30 & 40”. Try 121 Kobe. Not to mention he has 25 50+ point games, and five 60+ games. Ranking only behind Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan in both 40 and 50 point games, and solely being the Chamberlin in 60 point games. Pretty Elite company if you ask me.
The 07’-08’ season was obviously Kobe’s all-around best season, and even though he averaged 28-6-5 it technically wasn’t his best offensive season. PS- Kobe’s 05’-06’ season in which he averaged 35.4 Points, 5.3 Rebounds, and 4.5 Assists a game will go down as one of the best offensive seasons of all-time.
5. Kobe’s All-NBA Awards
Kobe has been selected to 14 All-NBA teams (10 First-Team), and 12 All-Defensive Team (nine times All-Defensive First-Team). To the avid basketball fan it’s no surprise he racked up 14 All-NBA teams, but the fact he was on the All-Defensive team 12 times shows he has been one of the best overall competitors the game has ever seen. This truly sums up how deadly the Black Mamba was, giving you nothing but buckets on one end, and then turning around only to lock down the other team's best perimeter player.
4. 81 on the Raptors
Kobe destroyed a Raptors team, Kobe left all of his woes in the Six that night going off in the second half, scoring 27 in the third, and 28 in the fourth quarter to rally his Lakers to an 18 point win over the Raptors.
3. Third All-Time in Points Scored
He surpassed Karl Malone, now only making him behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Michael Jordan.
2. Two Gold Medals with Team USA in the World Olympics
Two gold medals is surely an accomplishment not many players can ever say they accomplished. Kobe captured the gold with the 08’ ‘Redeem Team’ that won in Beijing, and the 12’ ‘Dream Team’ that won in London.
1. Five Rings With a 3-Peat
The glorious 3-peat, With the duo, who were led by another Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, the team won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat". The rings speak for themselves. Some say he was overshadowed by Shaq, but Kobe’s true time to shine came in the 08’-10’ NBA Finals where he captured his final two rings in 09’-10’ while taking home Finals MVP honors in both years as well.