Kobe Bryant is a 34-year-old American professional basketball player nicknamed “Black Mamba” and was born on August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has an estimated net worth of $200 million.
He was named after a Japanese beefsteak “Kobe” by his parents Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, a former NBA player and Pamela Bryant. He has two athletic older sisters, Shaya and Sharia.
He played at Charlotte Hornets before he was traded in 1996 to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for center Vlade Divac.
At 19, he became the youngest in NBA history after being voted a starter for the 1998 All-Star Game.
Kobe spent his entire NBA career in Lakers, has been the league’s leading scorer and bestowed his team five championships (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010). He has played in two consecutive US Olympics and won two gold medals.
Being Lakers’ household name, he became the second-highest scorer in a single game when he scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in 2006. He came second to Wilt Chamberlain’s legendary score of 100 points in 1962.
He is the most-sought after endorser for shoes, jerseys and liquors and won the 2001 and 2002 Teens Choice Awards for favorite male athlete.
Kobe married Vanessa Laine, half-Irish and half-Mexican, in April 2001. Vanessa gave birth to their first daughter Natalia Diamante Bryant in January 19, 2003 and welcomed their second Gianna Maria-Onore on May 1, 2006. Their marriage life suffered when Bryant was accused of sexual assault to a 19-year-old hotel worker in Colorado. It was dismissed after the girl failed to cooperate in the proceedings. In 2011, Vanessa filed for a divorce. But recently, the couple was all enthusiastic to report via social networks that they are back together again.
Presently, Kobe Bryant is recovering from a torn left Achilles tendon and is all hopes to play in the 2013-2014 NBA season.
Unknown to some, Kobe has a love for soccer, after growing up in Italy and he can speak fluent Italian! He revealed that if he was not a basketball player, he would want to play for AC Milan. He boasted of high grades as a student and high SAT scores and was fond of the video “NBA Showmen” when he was a kid.*
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