His parents named him after a type of steak (Kobe) seen on a restaurant menu prior to his birth. Spent eight years of his childhood in Italy and is fluent in Italian. Has two older sisters, Sharia and Shaya. His father, Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant, averaged 8.7 ppg in 606 career games in the NBA. Was named MVP of the 2002 NBA All-Star Game. Won the 1997 NBA Slam Dunk Competition. Graduate with the class of '96 from Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA. Drafted by the Charlotte Hornets out of high school in '96, and was traded on July 11, 1996 to the LA Lakers for Vlade Divac NBA All Star 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002. Won the 2001 & 2002 Teens Choice Award for favorite male athlete. Led the Los Angeles Lakers to three NBA titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Bryant was the all-time leading scorer in Southeastern Pennsylvania schoolboy history with 2,883 points, breaking the marks of Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain (2,359 points) and former St. Joseph's player Carlin Warley (2,441 points). Drafted out of Lower Merion High School as the 13th pick by the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte then traded Bryant's signing rights to the Los Angeles Lakers for center Vlade Divac. (26 June 1996). Made his debut at 18 years, 2 months and 11 days old, the youngest player ever to appear in an NBA game (3 November 1996). Selected by USA Today and Parade Magazine as the National High School Player of the Year as a senior at Lower Merion H.S. He was also named Naismith Player of the Year, Gatorade Circle of Champions High School Player of the Year and to the McDonald's All-America Team.
Signs first pro contract. (27 July 1996). The youngest player to appear in an NBA All-Star game. (1998).
Scored 1,080 on his SATs. The Charlotte Hornets traded him in 1996 to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for center Vlade Divac. Divac who at the time was already in the league for 7 years, has remained a 2nd rate journeyman center in the NBA. Bryant has become a Hall of Fame guard and is often compared to Michael Jordan.
On 22 January 2006, Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second-highest single-game scoring output by a player in NBA history, second only to Wilt Chamberlain's legendary 100 points on 2 March 1962. Bryant achieved his feat by converting 28 of 46 field goals (including 7 of 13 3-pointers), and making 18 of 20 free throws. Due in large part to his public feud with former LA teammate 'Shaquille O'Neal', a game between the Miami Heat and the LA Lakers has become a recent Christmas Day tradition. In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated his salary for the year to be $33 million. Won three NBA championships, was voted league MVP, and won an Olympic gold medal all by the time he was 30 years old.
I look at a boy like Daniel, who truly is a miracle baby, and I thank God that I'm in a position to help make his world a little brighter. But he made my world a little brighter, too. If I was his Christmas present today, than he was mine.