April 13th, 2016 was the last time Kobe Bryant suited up for an NBA regular season game. In his long, illustrious career of 20 seasons, the Mamba became the face, not only of the Los Angeles Lakers but of Basketball. His accomplishments speak for itself. He is arguably one of the greatest players to have played this sport. Let’s take a look back, not only at the accomplishments of the Mamba, but some of his iconic moments over the last two decades.
His Career Statistics
Games Played: 1346
Games Played: 220
5x NBA Champions
2x NBA Finals MVP
18x NBA All Star
4x NBA All-Star game MVP : 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011
NBA Regular Season MVP: 2007-08 Season
2x NBA Regular season scoring champion: 2005-06, 2006-07
15x All-NBA Team:
First Team (11): 2002,2003,2004,2006,2007,2008, 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013
Second Team (2): 2000,2001
Third Team (2): 1999,2005
12x All NBA Defensive Team:
First team (9) : 2000, 2003,2004, 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2011
Second Team (3): 2001,2002,2012
NBA Slam Dunk Champion: 1997 (at aged 18, the youngest winner).
2x Olympic Gold Medal (2008, 2012)
Most years spent with a single franchise: 20 seasons
Second most points in a single game: 81 vs Toronto Raptors
Youngest player to score 29,000 , 30,000 , 31,000 , 32,000 and 33,000 points in the NBA.
June 26, 1996
The 1996 draft was the 50th draft in NBA history. It was here that the Mamba was introduced to the NBA. The Lakers had zeroed in on Kobe Bryant, who was the first guard to declare himself for the draft after completing High school. However, being down the pecking order the Lakers entered into a trade agreement with the Charlotte Hornets.
Former Lakers legend Jerry West traded their centre Vlade Divac for the draft rights of the Charlotte Pick. As per the terms of the trade, they would be told who to pick 5 minutes prior to making their pick. The Hornets, as per the Lakers decision, picked Kobe Bryant with the 13th overall pick in the draft and traded him to the Lakers. Back then, the head scout of the Hornets, Bill Branch said the team never considered picking Bryant.
Bryant’s draft is considered one of the most talented draft classes. Other notable players drafted at this time include former teammates Steve Nash and Derek Fisher, Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, Ray Allen.