Kobe Bean Bryant was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, Bryant entered the National Basketball Association (NBA) directly from high school and played his entire 20-season professional career in the league with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant won five NBA championships, was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, was named the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), and was a two-time NBA Finals MVP winner. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, he led the NBA in scoring during two seasons, ranks fourth on the league’s all-time regular-season scoring and all-time postseason scoring lists.
Bryant was the son of former NBA player Joe Bryant. He attended Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high-school basketball player in the country. Upon graduation, he declared for the 1996 NBA draft and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick; the Hornets then traded him to the Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, and he was named an All-Star by his second season.
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