Today is the late legendary basketball player, Kobe Bryant’s birthday. The star athlete would have turned 43-years-old today. Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter crash with his daughter Gianna in early 2020. The loss of the Los Angeles Lakers legend was felt by people all over the world. Today, we honor Bryant for all of his achievements both on and off the court.
He won the most NBA All-Star MVP awards in history.
Bryant has won the most number of MVP awards at the All-Star game with four in 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011, according to Republic World.
Bryant inspired the next generation of star NBA players.
Chicago Bulls player, DeMar DeRozan said his love for basketball started from watching Bryant play. ‘To me, Kobe was my imagination. Obviously as I got older and [was] able to look at Michael Jordan, he became one of my favorite players, but growing up when I started to understand and comprehend basketball at a young age, it was from Kobe. ... I watched every Lakers game growing up. Kobe was the one that I gravitated to. For me, to see the start, the failures — I remember begging my dad, ‘Could we go get a newspaper?’ just so I could see what he said after the game, comments after the game. Little s— like that gave me an emotional connection to one of my favorite players that made me want to push harder when it came to wanting to play sports, especially basketball, seeing how he got better, the things he went through.“
Bryant holds the record for winning the NBA MVP Award the most times
Only playing for the LA Lakers during his 20 year basketball career, Bryant is the only player who has won the NBA MVP award four times.
He was a two-time Olympic medalist.
Bryant won his first gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Japan. He then went on to win his second gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Bryant won an Oscar after retiring from basketball.
Soon after retiring from basketball, Bryant won an Oscar for the Best Animated Short for his poem turned short animated film, ‘Dear Basketball.’ This is the adaptation of the farewell letter that Bryant wrote when he decided to retire in 2016.
Coaching Gianna’s basketball team was one of Bryant’s proudest jobs.
“A valuable lesson that I can teach them is what it means to pursue excellence and the commitment level that comes with that,” he told People in a 2017 interview. “They’re having a blast. They’ve gotten extremely, extremely good over the course of the last year and are continuing to work and get better, man. It’s been fun.”
Bryant adored his wife Vanessa.
On their anniversary, the NBA player took to his Instagram to tell about the day he met his wife and asked for her number. “This pic is the day I asked @ladyvb24 for her number 11/28/99,” he wrote. ”Thru the ups and downs she has been my love and best friend. 20 and 17 yrs old when we met, we have actually grown up together. A true honor and a blessing. Ti Amo Queen Mamba :-)”