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Kobe Bryant: The Life of a Legend

Kobe Bryant was a famous professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers.

In 2008, he was crowned NBA Most Valued Player (MVP) and named MVP in two NBA finals. Even after his death, Bryant is still considered one of the greatest basketball players.

Kobe Bryant’s net worth

When he died, Kobe Bryant’s net worth was believed to be $600 million. His earnings alone are expected to have earned him approximately $328 million throughout his NBA career.

His sponsorships- McDonald’s, Sprite, Turkish Airlines, Lenovo, Panini, and Hublot are believed to have paid him an additional $350 million.

As per Forbes 2020 Dead Celebrity list, Kobe Bryant earned $20 million following his death, the majority of which came from Nike items, which generate an estimated $250 million each year.

How Tall was Kobe Bryant?

Kobe was 6’5″ tall, just an inch under his mentor, Michael Jordan, who stood 6’6″.

kobe bryant death
Kobe Bryant. Photo by Paulvincent_romero on Flickr.

Bryant’s Childhood and Life Growing up

Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 23, 1978. He was raised in Italy as a child before moving to the United States. Bryant attended High School in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania.

After graduating in 1996, he showed interest in joining the NBA. The Charlotte Hornets signed him as the 13th pick in the NBA draft. This move didn’t come to last, as they later came to trade him to the Lakers. 

In 1997 he won the Slam Dunk Contest. The following season, he was chosen to play in the 1998 All-star game. Bryant and his teammate Shaquille O’Neal delivered the team three straight NBA titles from 2000-2002. 

Kobe Bryan Sexual Assault Accusations

Bryant faced a sexual assault charge in 2003 when a young female who worked at a hotel made accusations against him. After she refused to come forward and testify, the criminal charges were dismissed; a civil claim was resolved out of court. 

Bryant came out publicly to issue an apology and also admitted to having a sexual relationship with the lady, but rejected the assault claim and stated that it was consensual.

Kobe Bryant’s Family

When Bryant was 21 years old, he met Vanessa Laine who was 17 years at the time. She was a dancer working on Eastsidaz’s music video “G’d Up”

Bryant had just got into music and was working on his first album. The two started dating and became engaged in May 2000. 

Bryant and Vanessa got married at the St. Edward Catholic Church in California On April 18, 2001.

Bryant’s parents never approved of the marriage for a variety of reasons. Bryant’s parents reportedly objected to him getting married because Vanessa did not come of African-American descent. 

This conflict did result in a two-year estrangement, which only ended after the birth of his daughter Natalia when Bryant decided to mend the relationship with his parents.

Atalia, Gianna, Bianka Bella, and Capri Kobe are the four daughters of Bryant and Vanessa. 

Vanessa Bryant miscarried in the spring of 2005 from an ectopic pregnancy. Vanessa Bryant decided to call quits on their marriage on December 16, 2011, alleging some differences couldn’t be resolved. The pair wanted to share custody of their kids. 

kobe bryant dunking
Kobe Bryant dunking photo by paulvincent_romero on Flickr.

Kobe Bryant’s Siblings and Parents

Kobe Bryant had two other older siblings. He was the only son of Pamela and Joe.

Joseph Washington Bryant, nicknamed “Jellybean,” was born on October 19, 1954. 

Kobe’s Father, Joseph Washington, was a well-known American who played professional basketball and coached several teams. 

The teams Joseph played with include the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, and San Diego Clippers.

He later became the Los Angeles Sparks head coach from 2005-2007. Joe has worked as a coach in several countries, including Italy, Thailand, and also Japan. Joe later married Pam Cox, who had a brother who also played in NBA named Chubby Cox.

 Kobe’s sibings are Sharia and Shaya. He has a nephew John Cox IV, a professional basketball player, through Pam.

Kobe Bryant’s relationship with his parents appeared to be improving. They would frequently show up at his games; the most notable time was during the 2010 playoffs.

However, in 2013 Bryant’s parents wanted to auction off Kobe Bryant’s entire career collections. The former NBA player was cited stating his parents made plans to do the auction without notifying him and stopped the sale of his items.

This provoked a lawsuit, which resulted in Bryant’s parents coming out in public to apologize for their conduct and praise Kobe for financially supporting them during his career.

Kobe Bryant’s Musical Career

Bryant’s passion for music blossomed when he began to form alliances with people in the industry, and before long, he was producing songs with one of the most famous vocalists of all time.

His second major break came in 1999 when he remixed Destiny Child’s “Say My Name.” The song, like Bryant, was on the rise, with Beyoncé in particular.

Bryant began to compose his songs and feature famed rappers such as 50 Cent and Nas. He even collaborated with O’Neal on a song before launching his debut solo single, “K.O.B.E.” Fans realized Bryant was more than simply a basketball player. Yet, his legendary Mamba Mentality was still years ahead.

When did Kobe Bryant Retire? 

Kobe Bryant disclosed his retirement plans on November 30, 2015, after the 2015-2016 season. He announced the news in a poem titled “Dear Basketball” on The Players Tribune. 

On April 13, 2016, Bryant signed off with the spectacular, bombastic talented display he was known for – 60 points in a victory against Utah. 

How did Kobe Bryant Die?

On January 26, 2020, a helicopter carrying former NBA star Kobe Bryant went down killing him together with his daughter, who was 13 years old, and other passengers. 

The terrible crash happened in Calabasas, California, some 30 miles north of Los Angeles. 

No one survived the crash. On the crash day, they were flying to Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for Gianna’s basketball game. It was a tragedy many remember today. 

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