1) Kobe Bryant was born on 23 August 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was named after a famous Japanese steak that his parents found really interesting. He is the son of a famous NBA player Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant. Along with his two athletic sisters, Kobe Bryant had been a very energetic kid and was good at both soccer and basketball right from the beginning.
2) He spent most of his early age in Italy because the elder Bryant shifted his entire family to Italy after his retirement. For this reason, Kobe Bryant is very fluent in his Italian and uses the language a lot to interact with his teammates during the match. He began to learn Italian quickly majorly because he wanted to fit in with the other kids in his school in Italy.
3) Bryant’s middle name is different from what appears on his birthday certificate and other documents. The middle name chosen by his parents was “bean” from his father’s nickname Jelly Bean, but it was not officially written down in the documents.
4) He returned to his hometown in 1991 and took admission in Merion High School. It was here that he was properly able to show his talent as a basketball player when he won four championships in a row.
5) Although he spent little time studying Kobe Bryant was a brilliant student; he got good grades in class and a high score on his SATs. However, he decided to peruse his career in the NBA rather than going for higher studies.
6) Bryant was a celebrity right from high school; unlike other kids who ask out their friends etc for prom, Kobe Bryant came to his high school prom with Brandy Norwood, a famous R&D singer. His emphatic approach left all his class fellows and friends in awe and wonder.
7) He was the first ever guard who had been drafted out of high school and directly into the team. This was a big milestone not only for Bryant but also for the Merion High School. However, the Charlotte Hornets who drafted Bryant originally traded him for Vlade Divac, which was the only wrong thing that happened to Bryant on draft day.
8) Kobe Bryant married Vanessa Laine in 2001; the two originally met in 1999 when Vanessa was a high school student. She was acting as a background dancer for music videos at that time and Bryant had come to the studio to get a rap song recorded. The song never released but the visit got him to his future wife.
9) Two years after his marriage, Bryant was charged with sexual assault on a hotel staff in Colorado. Bryant defended himself by stating that he was guilty of adultery but he had never been involved in a rape. The charges were dropped in 2004 and the lawsuit was settled out of court between the two parties.
10) During his first season as a guard, he was not allowed to become a part of the mainstream action and was made to sit on the bench for most of the game. Over time, he was allowed more minutes to play in the game and his progress was instantly noticed by the coach and the selection committee of Lakers.
11) For most of his career in high school, Bryant wore the number 33 but when he entered NBA he switch to number 8. He did so because he wore the number in Italy and it also represented the shirt that he wore on Adidas ABCD camp. By switching the number when his popularity was going up, he was able to sell more jerseys according to some critics.
12) Kobe Bryant was declared the starter of the game in the 1998 games of All Star; this made him the youngest players in the history of NBA to become All star at the age of 19.
13) In 2003 and 2004, Bryant led his team to victory in two consecutive seasons in a row, as a result of which he was declared first team all star in NBA. He was the first person to ever get this title by NBA. The same year, he also signed a number of deals to endorse the products of Adidas, Spirit and other sponsors.
14) However, after 2004, the team was not able to show any significant wins and the fans were starting to get disappointed. Kobe once again rose to the occasion and led his team to the 2008 NBA finals although the match did not go in their favor.
15) Bryant was a close friend of Michael Jackson and was shocked to hear about his death. It was at this time that he declared to stay in Los Angles for the coming few years.
16) He represented the United States in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and won gold medals both times playing alongside big names like Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and other similar names.
17) It is said that Kobe improves his games and develops new moves for the season by playing against his own shadow. He is said to be a dedicated players who spends a lot of time on practicing and believes that there is something new to learn all your life.
18) As a child, his favorite show was the NBA show time, which aired all the greatest basketball games that has been played in history. He said that he was able to learn a lot from the show and it was because of it that his real interest in basketball began. Otherwise, he would have joined soccer while staying in Italy.
19) Kobe is known to keep his personal life to himself and is one of those few athletics who have not been involved in a lot of scandals (there was only one scandal during his entire career).
20) He is a father to a beautiful girl who was born in 2006; although Vanessa and Kobe have had some rough patches but they are said to be a happy couple.