Historical Kobe Bryant Milestones
Kobe Bryant is among the greatest players in the NBA and considered by many to be an all-time top-five talent, who has often been compared to Michael Jordan throughout his career. Bryant became the first player ever drafted out of high school when the Charlotte Hornets drafted him 13th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft before shipping him to the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade for former All-Star, Vlade Divac. Despite coming off the bench for the majority of his first two full seasons, Bryant became a fan favorite for his tenacious play on the court and winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest. Within the next few seasons, Bryant successfully established himself as a premier shooting guard in the NBA. However, it was Phil Jackson's triangle offense and teaming with Shaquille O'Neal that really raised Kobe to elite status among NBA players. O'Neal's inside domination combined with Bryant's outstanding defense, perimeter shooting, and highlight reel dunks, the Los Angeles Lakers went on to win three consecutive NBA Championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002. After Shaq's departure to the Miami Heat, Kobe was given the bulk of the load on both sides of the court and became the face of the franchise. After Shaq’s departure, Kobe continued to have Hall of Fame caliber seasons and consistently at the top of the league in scoring. The return of nine-time NBA Champion head coach, Phil Jackson in 2006 revived the Lakers' hunt for yet another NBA Championship. Although Los Angeles fell short in the 2008 NBA Finals, Kobe teamed with the acquired, Pau Gasol, and Jackson's Hall of Fame coaching, led the Lakers to win two back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. During the span of 2008-2010, Kobe won the league MVP in 2008 and Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010. At the age of 34 years and 104 days, Bryant also became the youngest player in basketball history to reach an unbelievable 30,000 career points. Bryant hung up his shoes following the 2016 NBA Season as a five-time Champion, 18-time All-Star and two-time NBA Finals MVP, cementing his place among the greats of the game.
Kobe Bryant's emergence as the greatest player of his time, his popularity and icon status has been relatively unmatched. Considering Bryant changed the game of basketball with his many achievements, it's hard to fathom how he couldn't go down as one of the most accomplished players in NBA history. Since he is that rare hybrid with a multitude of individual accolades accomplished as well as team success, Kobe Bryant memorabilia are an essential piece to any basketball memorabilia collection.
Collecting Kobe Bryant Memorabilia