Remembering Kobe Bryant’s Career after His Tragic Death: From High School to His Final Game

Edduin Carvajal
Jan 28, 2020
12:30 P.M.
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People’s hearts all over the world broke during the afternoon of January 26, 2020, after it was reported that NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna died.  


Kobe, who was 41 years old, was traveling with his 13-year-old daughter and seven more people in a helicopter. They were going to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.

Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Laine Bryant.



The academy, wherein he served as the coach of Gianna’s basketball team, was hosting the Mamba Cup Tournament Series. In it, boys and girls’ basketball teams from the third through eighth grades played. The games were canceled.

As the NY Times reported, the accident took place near Calabasas, California. Due to the characteristics of the terrain where the helicopter crashed, the Sheriff of Los Angeles County Alex Villanueva said that it could take days to recover the bodies.

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant on December 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images



Kobe Bryant’s career stats and the “Mamba mentality,” which was the term that the NBA player used to described his level of focus and type of approach to train and compete, made him one of the best players in history.

After studying at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Kobe was drafted in the first round of 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets. He became the sixth player in NBA history to go directly from high school to the NBA.


Shortly after that, however, the shooting guard was transferred to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he conquered the city and enamored basketball fans all over the world.

One of the most impressive things he did during his career was scoring 81 points back on January 22, 2006, versus the Toronto Raptors. The only player who has scored more points than him was Wilt Chamberlain (100 on March 2, 1962).

Kobe Bryant on January 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images



The Los Angeles Lakers star had an outstanding career as he won five NBA championships between 2000 and 2010, was named the Most Valuable Player for the 2007-08 season and participated in 18 All-Star games out of 20 seasons he played.

He also won two gold medals as a member of the US national basketball team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.


Even Kobe Bryant’s last game in 2016 was unbelievable. On November 29, 2015, he announced that he’d retire at the end of the season due to a series of injuries that were affecting his performance.

On April 13, 2016, his Lakers played the final game of the season against the Utah Jazz. The Black Mamba scored 60 points.

Kobe Bryant on February 19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona | Source: Getty Images


The team recognized his greatness, and in December 2017, only one-and-a-half years after retiring, they retired Kobe Bryant’s jerseys.

Since the late NBA pro wore number 8 for the first half of his career and then number 24 for the last ten years, the Lakers retired both numbers. For that reason, he became the only player in history to have two numbers retired by the same team.

Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images



Although his one-of-a-kind basketball career was impressive, there was so much more about Kobe off the court. One of his most outstanding milestones was, without a doubt, the film “Dear Basketball.”

Based on a letter that the Lakers legend wrote to The Players’ Tribune, “Dear Basketball” was an animated short movie written and narrated by Kobe and directed by John Williams.


The film was praised by many, and it won Koby Bryant an Oscar, which made him the first professional athlete to win an Academy Award. Not even Michael Jordan with “Space Jam” could do it.

Apart from his career in the entertainment industry, the shooting guard was working hard with Nike for his sneakers line. As Complex reported, they were very popular as a lifestyle choice because people could wear them with jeans due to how comfortable they are.


Kobe Bryant’s shoes were very important for him, and he made that clear in an email interview that he had with Complex saying:

“We build every Kobe shoe with innovation and performance at the pinnacle of design importance. The design team knows that everything going into a Kobe shoe has to push the envelope in innovation. If it doesn’t, we won’t pursue it.”

The Black Mamba also tried luck in the music industry by becoming a rapper. Sony even signed him and planned to release an album titled “Visions.” However, the record label dropped Kobe, and the album was never released.

Kobe Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Laine Bryant, with whom he had four daughters, including Gianna, who also died in the accident.