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Interesting Japan Connection Behind Kobe Bryant’s Name Revealed: ‘It Was Part of the Name of Their Favorite Restaurant’

Published 01/16/2022, 10:00 AM EST

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The shocking news of Kobe Bryant’s death came out on January 26th, 2020. The life of Bryant, who was born on August 23, 1978, came to an end at the age of 41.

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The superstar, who came into the NBA after high school, made a name for himself with every game he played. With his candor, his ability to break any defense, and the hunger for getting better with every night, the Black Mamba soon made a worldwide recognition for himself.


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For a comprehensive evaluation of his great performance, one can start with where he came from and how he paved his way to becoming one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Interestingly, this will even reveal something about the origin of his name.

How did Kobe Bryant get that unique and iconic name?

Bryant’s on-court struggles, controversies, and best games were discussed in a podcast entitled “The Bryant Family Legacy”. As a continuation of the origins of Bryant, it all began: “In August of 1978, Joe and Pam had their third child, a boy. They named him Kobe, after the famous beef of Kobe, Japan. It was part of the name of their favorite restaurant. His middle name was Bean, derived from his father’s nickname, jellybean.” 

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The inspiring shadow of Mamba’s father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, who played in various leagues at the time, helped Kobe’s career have a flying start. The documentary “Kobe Bryant’s Muse” discussed Kobe Bryant’s childhood passion for basketball and how it began when he was just three years old.


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The Los Angeles Lakers’ Magic Johnson and Atlanta Hawks’ John Battle were extremely popular during the time. Kobe revealed in the documentary that he grew up watching these players and idolizing them.

It all served to the benefit of basketball fans. They found their LA superstar “Kobe Bryant” when Bryant announced that instead of going to college, he would straightaway enter the NBA. That way, a star was born on April 29, 1996.


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Written by:

Anshika Rai


One take at a time

Anshika Rai is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Anshika has been following NBA for many years now.
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