The world not only lost a sports legend in Kobe Bryant, but we all also lost a great humanitarian.
Bryant created a wealth of memories, overcome a host of setbacks and reached a multitude of milestones during his 20-year NBA career. Here are key moments in the career of the five-time champion and 18-time All-Star.
June 19, 2000: Kobe’s First NBA Championship
Bryant scored 26 points and 10 rebounds against the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, to help lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their first championship since the 80s. It would be the first of a threepeat with Shaquille O’Neal.
February 1, 2010: Bryant Passes Jerry West For Lakers All-Time Leading Scorer
Bryant scores 44 points against the Memphis Grizzlies and passes West to become the leading scorer in Lakers history. West was one of the major players on getting Bryant to LA. Deep down, West knew Bryant would surpass him as one of the Lakers great.
Kobe Scores a Career-High 81 Points
It was a regular-season matchup between the Lakers and Raptors. While most expected a “Mamba” like performance, nobody in attendance was expecting the second greatest single-player performance ever. Kobe mostly did it on jumpers in a close game, hitting seven 3-pointers while going 28 for 46 from the field and 18 for 20 from the line.
Grand Finale: Kobe Drops 60 In His Final NBA Game
In his final NBA game, Kobe wasn’t going to go out without giving the world one more Mamba performance. Kobe helped wiped out a 10-point deficit with 2:16 left in the game, had the energy to hit the game-deciding jumper with 31 seconds left and iced the game from the free-throw line.
April 23, 2017: Dear Basketball Releases
Many wondered how Bryant would transition into retired life. Turns out, he stays winning. Mamba focused on his production company, swung big on his first project, “Dear Basketball,” and he came away with one of the most coveted awards a filmmaker can win. Dear Basketball earned him his first Oscar award for the best short film “Animated.”