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The Road to Greatness
Transcript of The Road to Greatness
High school Star Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Son of former Philadelphia 76ers player Joe "Jellybean" Bryant He was named after the famous beef of Kobe, Japan When he was six, his father left the NBA and moved his family to Italy to play ball Kobe earned national recognition as a young star while playing for Lower Marion High School. He was coached by his father during his sophmore year and earned the MVP award during the summer at the Adidas ABCD camp. In his senior year of high school, Bryant led the Aces to their first state championship in 53 years. During the run, he averaged 30.8 points, 12 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4.0 steals, and 3.8 blocked shots in leading the Aces to a 31–3 record. He ended his career as Southeastern Pennsylvania's all-time leading scorer at 2,883 points, surpassing both Wilt Chamberlain and Lionel Simmons. Bryant received several awards for his performance his senior year including being named Naismith High School Player of the Year, Gatorade Men's National Basketball Player of the Year, a McDonald's All-American, and a USA Today All-USA First Team player. While in high school, Philidelphia 76ers coach John Lucas invited Bryant to work out and scrimmage with the team, where he played one-on-one with Jerry Stackhouse.
Questions begin to arise as to whether Kobe would go to college or make the rarely seen leap to the pros. Bryant was chosen as the 13th overall draft pick by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996
He was the first guard to ever be taken out of high school
On July 1, 1996, Los Angeles Laker's owner Jerry West traded his starting center, Vlade Divac, to the Hornets in exchange for Bryant's draft rights Early Career Signs of a Star on the Rise Rookie Season Highlights Upon entering the NBA, Kobe was expected to live up to the hype and follow in the footsteps of former Laker greats. Making a Name for himself Kobe earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest Youth and Inexperience Shines Through After an exciting rookie year coming off the bench for the Lakers, Kobe's "shoot first" mentality caught up to him and he made several costly mistakes in the Lakers' opening round matchup with the Utah Jazz in the playoffs... Years after this embarrassing performance by Kobe, his then teammate Shaquille O'Neal commented that "[Bryant] was the only guy who had the guts at the time to take shots like that." With a desire to prove his doubters wrong and the will to learn from his mistakes, Kobe returned the next season to double his points average. He followed that season by earning a starting position and a six-year contract. Soon after, all the hard work would pay off... Three-Peat 2000-2002 Though their relationship off the court was often questioned, Kobe and Shaq's on court chemistry helped lead the Lakers to an impressive three straight NBA Championships. Kobe and Shaq will go down as one of the most dominant combinations in NBA history. Their historic back to back to back titles made them instant Laker legends. The Duo that started a dynasty With three rings from his run with Shaq, Kobe had solidified his position amoung Laker greats and was considered one of the most clutch players in the NBA. Everything was looking up for Kobe until the summer of 2003... More than a bump in the road In the summer of 2003, Kobe was arrested in Eagle, Colorado on charges of sexual assault. Bryant admitted to having an affair with the woman but denied her sexual assault allegation. Bryant's reputation would be forever tarnished. Though the charges were dropped after the accuser refused to testify, Kobe lost nearly all his endorsments and quickly became one of the most hated athletes among fans.. The Path to redemption 81 On January 22, 2006, Kobe set the record for the 2nd highest scoring total in a game by a single player. He scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. Only Wilt Chamberlin has scored more in a single game (100). The Shot(s) Kobe's proved how clutch he was in the opening round of the 2006 playoffs against the Phoenix Suns. Not only did he hit the shot to force overtime, he nailed the game winner as time expired to put the Lakers up 3-1 in the series. They would go on to lose that series, however Kobe had, for the moment, given Laker fans something to cheer about. Back on top After years of struggle and hard work, the Lakers finished the 2009 season as NBA Champions and Kobe got his fourth ring...his first without Shaq. A Legacy in Progress Alongside fellow greats such as Lebron and Dwayne Wade, Kobe helped lead Team USA to the gold in the 2008 Olympics. Comparisons to Michael Jordan have quieted over the years as Kobe has developed his game into something so uniquely talented that it can only be his own. He's still regarded as the most dangerous player to have the ball in his hands with the clock winding down and, after recently signing a 3-year contract worth $89 million, it looks as if Kobe will finish his career right where it began...as a Laker. Kobe's hardships throughout the years have left fans with a "you either love him or you hate him" mindset. Struggles off the court have tainted his image, though he continues to be a leader among peers and his demeanor since the infamous incident have him back on the path to being a role-model. Currently, Kobe and the Lakers are battling the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the 2010 Playoffs. The Lakers are up 3-2... Kobe 62, Mavericks 61 On December 20, 2005, Bryant scored 62 points in three quarters against the Dallas Mavericks. Entering the fourth quarter, Bryant had outscored the entire Mavericks team 62-61, the only time a player has done this through three quarters since the advent of the 24-second shot clock. During the summer of 2007, Bryant had hinted that he was upset with the direction the Lakers were heading in and he would like to be traded. That season, however, Bryant played extremely well, becoming the youngest player to score 20,000 points and doing so with a fractured right index finger. Alongside new all-star teammate Pau Gasol, Kobe led the Lakers to the best record in the West and won the Most Valuable Player Award for the first time in his career. After a disappointing loss in the 2008 Finals to the Boston Celtics, Kobe and Co. returned the next season angry and focused on one goal, winning a title.