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Kobe BryantKobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978) was an American All-Star shooting guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA) who played his entire career for the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired after the 2015 season. Bryant is the only son of former Philadelphia 76ers player and former Los Angeles Sparks head coach Joe "Jellybean" Bryant.

Bryant rose to national prominence in 1996 when he became the first guard in league history to be drafted out of high school. Bryant and then-teammate Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. Since O'Neal's departure following the 2004 season, Bryant has become the cornerstone of the Lakers' franchise, and was the NBA leading scorer during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.

Back to back NBA Championships in 2009 and 2010 for the Lakers bring Kobe's personal total to five. Though the term "great" is used to describe many of today's stars, true greatness can only be measured by championships won.

He continued to be among the top players in the league through 2013 when the 34-year-old Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Although he recovered, his play was limited the following two years by season-ending injuries to his knee and shoulder, respectively. Citing his physical decline, he announced that he would retire after the 2015–16 season.

At 34 years and 104 days of age, Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points. He became the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history on February 1, 2010, when he surpassed Jerry West. During his third year in the league, Bryant was chosen to start the All-Star Game, and he would continue to be selected to start that game for a record 18 consecutive appearances until his retirement. His four All-Star MVP Awards are tied for the most in NBA history. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals as a member of the U.S. national team. Sporting News and TNT named Bryant the top NBA player of the 2000s. In 2018, Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball.¹

Kobe was voted NBA Most Valuable Player for the 2007-08 season. Below are his MVP stats.

Stats For Kobe Bryant's 2007-2008 MVP Season
TOT G MIN FGM/A 3PM/A FTM/A OFF DEF REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
2007-08 82 3192 775/1690 150/415 623/742 94 423 517 441 151 40 257 227 2323
AVG G MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF RPG APG SPG BPG TO PF PPG
2007-08 82 38.9 45.9 36.1 84.0 1.1 5.2 6.3 5.4 1.8 0.5 3.1 2.8 28.3

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(¹ Wikipedia.)

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