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When Kobe made the varsity at Lower Merion High School as a freshman, he selected the number of his idol, Magic Johnson. He had to switch to #33 in 1995-96, because he outgrew the other jersey.
Kobe and Shaquille O’Neal were both named First Team All-NBA after the 2001-02 season. They became the first tandem to be honored as such since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in 1996.
Kobe’s 56-point game against the Grizzlies in January of 2002 was the highest total ever recorded by any of the 20+ players who have gone directly from high school to the NBA. He bettered that mark in january of 2002 when he scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.
Kobe was one of four Lakers to make the 1998 All-Star squad—Shaquille O’Neal, Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel were the others. The last time four teammates made the game was in 1983, when Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney of the 76ers were selected.
Kobe's nine-game scoring streak of at least 40 points per game in 2003 matched one of equal length by Michael Jordan in the 1986-87 campaign.
Kobe had five triple-doubles in 2002-03 and five more in 2004-05
In 2004-05, Kobe hit 43 free throws in a row to break Gail Goodrich’s team record of 40.
In 2004-05, Kobe became the youngest player to score 14,000 points, surpassing Michael Jordan.
Kobe’s 2,832 points in 2005-06 was the seventh-highest total in history. Only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan have scored more.
Kobe led the NBA in free throws made in 2005-06.
Kobe was named First Team All-NBA and First Team All-Defensive for the fourth time each in 2006.
Kobe changed from #8 to #24 before the 2006-07 season.
Had the Bryants remained in Europe, Kobe says he would have gone into pro soccer. He rooted for AC Milan while licing in Italy.
Kobe got his name from a Japanese steakhouse in the Philadelphia suburb of King of Prussia. His father liked the sound of the name.
Kobe’s favorite video as a kid was “NBA Showmen,” which highlighted some of basketball’s all-time greats.
Kobe has incredible basketball bloodlines. His mom’s brother, John “Chubby” Cox, played in the NBA.
Kobe made his first legit dunk at the age of 14.
Kobe took R&B star Brandy to his senior prom. He later played the role of a basketball star on her show, “Moesha.”
Kobe married Vanessa Laine in April of 2001. They met while she was still in high school. Kobe and Vanessa had their first child, Natalia, in 2003. Their second daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore, was born on May 1, 2006—six minutes ahead of Shaquille O'Neal's daughter Me'arah Sanaa.
Kobe breaks in a new pair of basketball shoes every three or four games.
Kobe develops new moves in the off-season by playing against his shadow.
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