The sports world could not forget the helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, in which 7 more people died, as well as Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
He won 5 NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, was selected as an all-star 18 times, received the MVP award of the regular season in 2008 and the final series in 2009 and 2010, with the USA National Team uniform in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. The death of gold medal winner Kobe Bryant stunned basketball fans.
Pictures of Bryant, or the numbers 8 and 24 associated with him, were painted on basketball courts and street walls around the world.
The helicopter, which was taking off to go to the basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy, founded by Bryant, had an accident in the city of Calabasas. As a result of the investigation related to the accident, it was determined that the helicopter piloted by Ara Zobayan was out of control with the effect of dense fog.
The basketball player, nicknamed the “Black Mamba”, tweeted that LeBron James, who wore the Lakers jersey hours before the accident, surpassed him to become the 3rd top scorer in league history, “Keep moving the game forward. I have a lot of respect for my brother.” had commented.
Bryant, who married Vanessa Laine in 2001 and has 4 daughters named Bianka, Gianna, Natalia, Capri, had his last excitement of fatherhood in June 2019.
Born in Philadelphia, raised in Italy
Kobe Bean Bryant, who is constantly compared to the legendary player Michael Jordan, who marked the 80s and 90s with his position, playing style, backward shots, and most importantly with his ambition to win, and who had 6 championships, was born on August 23, 1978. He was born in Philadelphia, USA. Father Joe Bryant, who plays basketball in the NBA and Europe, named his only son after the famous steak of Kobe, Japan, which he loved very much.
Kobe, who met basketball at the age of 3, moved to Italy with his family at the age of 6 after his father’s transfer to the Sebastiani Rieti team. Bryant, who learned Italian and Spanish here and went to the USA to play basketball in the summer, returned to his country in 1991 when his father quit basketball.
Attracting attention with his performance at Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia, Bryant was 17 years old when he decided to directly enter the NBA draft without going to college. Chosen 13th by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 draft, Kobe’s rights were acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers, whom he had dreamed of playing since childhood, in exchange for Serbian center Vlade Divac.
From spoiled rookie to championship-winning all-star player
In the Lakers, which recruited all-star center Shaquille O’Neal in the summer of 1996, Kobe, chasing behind a top guard duo such as Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel, spent the 1996-1997 season in which he became the “youngest dunk contest champion” at 7, He finished with an average of 6 points.
Given his sharp statements from time to time and his self-confidence to arrogance to his youth, Bryant at least started to mature his game in his 2nd season. Bryant, who is among the favorite names of the fans with his love to take responsibility in difficult times and his spectacular and flashy movements, increased his average points to 15.4 in the 1997-1998 season, when he was the “youngest player to start the NBA All-Star Game in the Top 5”.
Like the Lakers, Bryant’s fate changed in the summer of 1999, when Phil Jackson, who won six championships with Michael Jordan, was appointed head coach. Turning into one of the league’s elite shooting guards under Jackson, Kobe won the championship three times in 2000, 2001 and 2002 with the Lakers, driven by Shaquille O’Neal. Bryant averaged 22.5, 28.5, 25.2 points in the regular season during the championships, and 21.1, 29.4 and 26.6 points in the play-offs.
Bryant, who was disturbed by the fact that his name was mentioned behind O’Neal and his problems with the star center were reflected in the press from time to time, started the 2002-2003 season with a different motivation. Bryant, who scored 40 points or more in 9 games in a row in February, finished the season with 30 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.2 steals per game. But the championship’s biggest contender, the Lakers, lost the trophy to the San Antonio Spurs, which they lost in the Western Conference semifinals.
The Lakers, who added Karl Malone and Gary Payton to their squad in the summer of 2003, when Bryant’s name was involved in the rape accusation, reached the 2004 NBA finals, but the Detroit Pistons defeated the Lakers, who were the favorites before the final, 4-1, reaching the championship for the third time after 1989 and 1990. .
Made history with 81 numbers
The 2004-2005 season, when Coach Phil Jackson left the team and O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant, marked the beginning of a new era for Bryant, who was eagerly awaiting what he could do without O’Neal. The Lakers couldn’t make it to the playoffs in the season Bryant averaged 27.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6 assists.
The paths of Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant crossed once again in 2005-2006. Bryant, who made a great start to the season under Jackson, sent 62 points in 3 quarters to the Dallas Mavericks in December.
Basketball fans witnessed history on January 22, 2006, when the Lakers hosted the Toronto Raptors. Completing the game with 81 points, Bryant became “the second highest scorer in a game” after Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 100 points in 1962, and captured Elgin Baylor’s Lakers club record with 71 points. Kobe averaged 35.4 points in his career in the season the Lakers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Nicknamed the “Black Mamba”, a venomous snake species for its ruthlessness towards opposing defenses, Bryant took the scoring game to a whole new level in the 2006-2007 season. Recording 65, 50, 60 and 50 points in March, respectively, Kobe made his mark in history as “the second NBA player to pass the 50-point dam in a row” after Chamberlain. The Lakers closed the season, in which Bryant scored 50 or more 10 times, again by being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Back to the championship years
The Lakers re-entered the champion team mood in the 2007-2008 season, when Spanish center Pau Gasol joined the team mid-year. The Lakers reached the NBA finals in the season when Bryant was selected as the MVP of the regular season for the first time in his career, averaging 28.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists. But he lost 4-2 to the Boston Celtics, which included Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo.
After Kobe reached the finals for the first time without O’Neal, he took his team to the finals again in the 2008-2009 season. Defeating the Orlando Magic 4-1, in which Hidayet Türkoğlu is also an important part, the Lakers reached the top of the NBA 7 years later. Kobe was named MVP of the final series for the first time in his career.
The Lakers took the rematch with a score of 4-3 from the Celtics, who lost the final two years ago in the 2009-2010 season. Bryant, who was selected as the MVP of the final series consecutively, wore the 5th championship ring and gave the best answer to those who doubted him.
The effort to catch Jordan and the years of injury
Bryant, who wanted to beat his idol and Michael Jordan’s 6 championship points, could not see beyond the Western Conference semifinals in the next 2 seasons. The Mavericks in the 2010-2011 season, and the following year, the Oklahoma City Thunder with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook didn’t let Kobe’s dream come true.
The Lakers, who were shown as the favorites of the championship with the addition of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to the squad in the summer of 2012, could not perform the expected game. On April 10, 2013, Kobe made history as “the first NBA player to reach these numbers in 5 statistics at the same time” in 47 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks and 3 steals games played on April 10, 2013.
Dragging his team with 27.3 points, 6 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game, Bryant closed the season due to a tear in his left Achilles tendon in the Golden State Warriors match, which he played 2 days later, and was away from basketball for 8 months.
The experienced player, who regained his form in the 2013-2014 season, closed the season on 18 December 2013 due to a crack in his left knee after playing 6 matches.
In the Minnesota Timberwolves game on December 14, 2014, Kobe passed Michael Jordan with 32,292 points in his career and became the “3rd top scorer in NBA history” after Kerim Abdulcabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928). .
Bryant was unable to play for the remainder of the 2014-2015 season due to a tear in his right shoulder muscle group on January 22. Kobe averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 35 games in the 2014-2015 season.
Goodbye with 60 points
On April 13, 2016, when Kobe stepped onto the parquet for the last time, he gave unforgettable moments to sports fans. Bryant ended his 20-year career by scoring 60 points in a 101-96 win against the Utah Jazz.
Performing 60 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the last game of his career, which he played in front of the audience at Staples Center, the basketball player attempted 50 shots during his 42 minutes on the field, reaching the highest score of his career in this field.
Playing the 5th highest scoring game of his career, 37-year-old Bryant took his place in history as the oldest NBA player to surpass the 60-point threshold.
August 24 Kobe Bryant Day
Bryant, who made 1566 appearances in the NBA, 220 of which were in the play-offs, and his number 8 and 24 jerseys, which he wore throughout his career, were hung on the beams of Staples Center, the Lakers’ hall, became the first basketball player in the NBA to have two jerseys retired for the same team. passed.
The city of Los Angeles has not forgotten Kobe Bryant, who ended his 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 2015-2016 season. In the summer of 2016, the city has decided that August 24 is “Kobe Bryant Day” to honor the star basketball player.
The date of the organization for Kobe was set as “24.08” due to the number 8 and 24 jerseys that the player wore throughout his career.
He acted in a THY commercial, won an Oscar
Closely followed by basketball fans in Turkey, Bryant starred in commercials shot in 2012 and 2013 for Turkish Airlines (THY), where he is the brand ambassador of Argentine star football player Lionel Messi.
On March 5, 2018, Bryant added a new one to the awards he has won throughout his career. “Dear Basketball”, written by Bryant and directed by Glen Keane, won the “best animation short” award at the 90th Academy Awards (Oscar).
The production, which lasted about 5 minutes, was based on Bryant’s letter to the media platform “The Players’ Tribune” in November 2015 to quit basketball.
NBA All-Star Game MVP award named after
To honor Kobe Bryant posthumously, the league management named his name to the NBA All-Star Game most valuable player (MVP) award.
Kobe Bryant, the youngest (19 years, 169 days) basketball player, who won the award the most (4 times), was selected for the NBA All-Star Game the most (18 times) in a row, and appeared in the top 5 of the NBA All-Star Game, is thus always will be mentioned.
The “highs” of Kobe’s career
The statistics and records in Kobe Bryant’s career are as follows:
|match played||shooting percentage||Number||rebound||assist||dribbling||Block|
– The 4th highest scorer in NBA history after Kerim Abdulcabbar, LeBron James and Karl Malone: 33,643 points
– NBA player with 2nd most points in a game: 81 points
– Oldest NBA player to score 60 points: 37 years, 234 days
– Number of games in which he scored more than 40 points during his career: 135 (6 games with 60 points and above, 25 games with 50 points and above)
– The NBA player who has passed the 50 point threshold the most in a row after Wilt Chamberlain: 4 games (65, 50, 60 and 50 points respectively in March 2007)
– NBA champion: 5 times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)
– Normal season MVP’s: 2008
– MVP of the final series: 2009, 2010
– NBA scorer: 2005-2006 season (35.4) and 2006-2007 season (31.6)
– Most NBA All-Star Game MVP Award winner (shared with Bob Pettit): 4 times (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011)
– Youngest player to start an NBA game in the top 5: 18 years, 158 days (1997)
– Youngest player to play in the NBA All-Star Game: 19 years, 169 days (1998)
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