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Kobe Bryant Funeral Service

A true basketball legend! One of the greatest basketball players ever! I extend my condolences to his family and all his friends. The soul is immortal 

Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, † January 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California) was an American basketball player. He was 198 cm tall and played from 1996 to 2016 for the Los Angeles Lakers as the shooting guard. From 1998 to the end of his career in 2016, Bryant was continuously selected for the season’s best NBA players (all-NBA team) and in 2008 won the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award, the most valuable NBA player in the regular season. He won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Kobe Bryant won with Team USA and teammates like LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul won the gold medal in the final against Spain and were able to defend it with the US team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, again against Spain. For his collaboration on the animated short film Dear Basketball, for which he wrote the screenplay, Bryant received an Oscar in 2018 in the “Best Animated Short Film” category and an Emmy in the “Extraordinary Post-Produced Graphic Design” category.

Bryant pictured inside a helicopter
Bryant pictured inside a helicopter

Kobe Bean Bryant was born the youngest of three children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the son of former Philadelphia 76ers player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and former Los Angeles Sparks coach Pamela Cox. Bryant moved to Italy with his family at the age of six when his father Joe continued his career in the Italian basketball league. During the summer months, he kept coming back to the United States to play in the Basketball Summer League. Bryant got used to the Italian lifestyle, had been a big football fan and supporter of AC Milan since that time and was fluent in Italian and Spanish. When his father retired as an active basketball player in 1991, he returned to the United States with his family.

High school

Bryant’s basketball career began at a young age when he played for the school’s basketball team at Lower Merion High School in a suburb of Philadelphia. Bryant was average in his first year, but over the next three years he helped his team win 77 in 90 games, including serving in all five positions. In 1995 Bryant was chosen as the Most Valuable Player at the Adidas ABCD Camp. Even while Bryant was in high school, the then 76ers coach, John Lucas, invited him to train with his team. Bryant ended his high school basketball career as a high school player with the most points (2,883) in Southeastern Pennsylvania. During this time he was named Naismith High School Player of the Year, Gatorade Men’s National Basketball Player of the Year, McDonald’s All-American and USA Today All-USA First Team Player. With his SAT of 1080, Bryant would have had a choice of different colleges, but he signed up directly for the NBA draft at the age of 17.

personal

From 1996 Bryant lived in Los Angeles, where in November 1999 he met 17-year-old Vanessa Cornejo Ubrieta Laine. On April 18, 2001, the couple married in Dana Point, California. As a result, Bryant’s father broke off his relationship because he disagreed with the bride’s Latin descent.

Bryant’s first daughter was born on January 19, 2003. The couple had a second daughter on May 1, 2006 and a third daughter on December 5, 2016. The couple’s fourth child, again a girl, was born in 2019.

He was the first athlete to immortalize his hand and footprints on Hollywood Boulevard in front of the TCL Chinese Theater.

Kobe Bryant led the lists of top NBA earners in 2012 with an annual salary of 21.4 million euros ($ 27.9 million).

death

Bryant and his second oldest daughter, along with six other occupants and the pilot, were killed on January 26, 2020, when his private Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed in Calabasas, Los Angeles. He turned 41, his daughter 13 years old.

Kobe Bryant was voted 13th in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets and on July 1, 1996 in exchange for the Center Vlade Divac to the Los Angeles Lakers, who had already made an agreement with the Hornets the day before the draft , passed on. Since he was 17 at the time, his parents had to sign his first NBA contract.

The first three years (1996-1999)

Coby Bryan Helicopter Crash image
Coby Bryan Helicopter Crash image

In his first season, the so-called rookie season, Bryant mostly came into play from the bank. Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel both saw more playing time than the young talent who was the youngest player to play an NBA game at the time (the record has since been beaten by Jermaine O’Neal and Andrew Bynum). He also took part in the Slam Dunk Contest in his first year and at the age of 18 became the youngest Slam Dunk Champion in the history of the NBA. Because of his performance on the field, he was elected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. In the playoffs, the Lakers said goodbye to Utah Jazz in round two of Bryant’s most inglorious moments on a basketball court. He threw three airballs in the crucial moments of the last game in the series, a potential game-winning throw in the fourth quarter and two three-point throws in the last minute of extra time. Years later, Shaquille O’Neal said that Bryant was the only player who had the guts to take these throws (“Bryant was the only guy who had the guts at the time to take shots like that.”).

In his second season Bryant got more and more playing time and was able to increase his points average from 7.6 to 15.4 points per game. He became the youngest NBA All-Star Game Starter in the history of the NBA and at the end of the season he came second in the NBA Most Improved Player choice. The following season, Bryant made his final breakthrough as one of the league’s best guards. The Lakers separated from Eddie Jones and Nick Van Exel and made more time for Bryant, who was in the starting line-up in all 50 games of the Lakers in the lockout-shortened season 1998-1999. During the season, he signed a six-year contract extension for a total of $ 70 million. After this short time, many journalists compared him to superstars like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. However, there was still no increase in the playoffs and the San Antonio Spurs were beaten in the second round after four games.

Three-Peat (1999-2002)

In 1999 Phil Jackson was appointed the Lakers’ new head coach. After three seasons in the NBA and the constant improvement in Bryant’s game, this was established as one of the best shooting guards in the league. He was elected to the All-NBA, All-Star, and All-Defensive Team during this period, and the center-guard combination of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant made the Lakers one of the championship contenders year after year. Jackson taught his team the so-called ‘triangle offense’, which had already led to six titles with the Chicago Bulls.

During the preseason of the 1999/2000 NBA season, Bryant injured his hand and the Lakers had to do without him for the first six weeks of the regular season. Upon his return, Bryant averaged over 38 minutes per game on the field, leading the team in assists and steals per game. The Lakers had 67 victories this season, the fifth best in the NBA’s history to date. At the end of the season, O’Neal was elected regular season MVP, while Bryant was elected to the All-NBA Second Team and the youngest player in NBA history to the All-NBA Defensive Team. In the final games, the Lakers faced the Indiana Pacers and, after six games, won their first NBA championship since 1988. In the 2000/01 NBA season, Bryant’s stats remained largely the same, but increased by six points to an average of 28.5 points per game. Confrontations and difficulties between O’Neal and Bryant were heard for the first time, but the Lakers still managed 56 wins. In one of the best playoff series ever in the NBA, the Lakers won 15 of 16 games on their way to defending their title. During the playoffs, Bryant had 29.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game for his team. For the second time in a row he was elected to the All-NBA Second Team and All-NBA Defensive Team and for the third year in a row to the All-Star Game. Confrontations and difficulties between O’Neal and Bryant were heard for the first time, but the Lakers still managed 56 wins. In one of the best playoff series ever in the NBA, the Lakers won 15 of 16 games on their way to defending their title. During the playoffs, Bryant had 29.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game for his team. For the second time in a row he was elected to the All-NBA Second Team and All-NBA Defensive Team and for the third year in a row to the All-Star Game. Confrontations and difficulties between O’Neal and Bryant were heard for the first time, but the Lakers still managed 56 wins. In one of the best playoff series ever in the NBA, the Lakers won 15 of 16 games on their way to defending their title. During the playoffs, Bryant had 29.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game for his team. For the second time in a row he was elected to the All-NBA Second Team and All-NBA Defensive Team and for the third year in a row to the All-Star Game. Record 1 assists per game for his team. For the second time in a row he was elected to the All-NBA Second Team and All-NBA Defensive Team and for the third year in a row to the All-Star Game. Record 1 assists per game for his team. For the second time in a row he was elected to the All-NBA Second Team and All-NBA Defensive Team and for the third year in a row to the All-Star Game.

In the following season, Bryant participated in 80 games for his team for the first time, averaging 25.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game, and his hit rate was higher than ever at 46.9%. He was again elected to the NBA All-Star and the All-NBA Defensive Team, but this year for the first time to the All-NBA First Team. The Lakers had 58 victories this season, but there were a few stumbling blocks to clear in the playoffs this year. They prevailed in five games against the Portland Trail Blazers and the Spurs in the first two rounds, but had no home advantage against the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference Finals. This series spanned seven exciting games, and the Lakers ultimately prevailed. In the 2002 NBA Finals, which the Lakers won 4-0 against the New Jersey Nets, Bryant had an average of 26.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists with a hit rate of 51.4% from the field. At the age of 23, he was the youngest player to win three championships. This year he was particularly praised for his performance in the crucial moments of the playoff games and recognized as a so-called “clutch” player: a player who knows at the end of a game what needs to be done to claim victory.

The end of an era (2002-2004)

Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash
Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash

In the 2002/03 season, Bryant recorded an average of 30.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.2 steals per game – all of them were career best at the time. He also scored 40 points or more in nine consecutive games. In 14 games in February 2003, Kobe scored 40.6 points per game. 16 games in a row Bryant scored at least 30 points (January 29 – February 28, 2003), which also meant a new record. Thanks to his achievements, he was elected to the All-NBA and the All-Defensive First Team and came third in the election for the MVP of the regular season. The Lakers won 50 games this season, but lost in the second round of the playoff after six games against the San Antonio Spurs. Before the following season, 2003/04, the team was strengthened with the NBA all-stars Karl Malone and Gary Payton. The two new additions should ensure that the team did not leave the playoffs as early as in the previous season. Also before the start of the season, Bryant was accused of a sexual assault, which resulted in him having to miss some games during the season due to court appointments. With four future Hall of Fame players in their ranks, the Lakers reached the NBA Finals, in which they were beaten by the Detroit Pistons after just five games. that he had to miss some games during the season due to court appointments. With four future Hall of Fame players in their ranks, the Lakers reached the NBA Finals, in which they were beaten by the Detroit Pistons after just five games. that he had to miss some games during the season due to court appointments. With four future Hall of Fame players in their ranks, the Lakers reached the NBA Finals, in which they were beaten by the Detroit Pistons after just five games.

After the season, Phil Jackson’s contract was not renewed, and the Lakers decided to hand Shaquille O’Neal to Miami Heat in exchange for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, and Brian Grant. The next day, Bryant extended his contract by seven years.

Playoff disappointments (2004-2007)

In a free throw before the 2006/07 season, number 8

Bryant’s image was badly damaged due to the events of the previous year. The sexual abuse allegation, Shaquille O’Neal’s departure, and Phil Jackson’s departure also ruined the Lakers’ shooting guard’s reputation. Jackson went so far as to write a book, ‘The Last Season: A team in search of its soul’, in which he wrote down details about the Lakers in the 2003/04 NBA season, including describing Kobe Bryant as uncoachable. Jackson’s successor as coach, Rudy Tomjanovich, left the Lakers for health reasons in the middle of the new 2004/05 season, and his assistant coach Frank Hamblem took over the leadership of the Lakers. Although Bryant had the second best score of any NBA player, it wasn’t enough for the Lakers to enter the playoffs.

The 2005/06 NBA season slowly brought Bryant back into the right light. Despite differences with Bryant, Phil Jackson decided to go back to the Lakers coaching position. Bryant was fully behind Jackson’s reinstatement. On December 20, 2005, Bryant scored 62 points in the first three quarters of a game against the Dallas Mavericks. Before the fourth quarter, Bryant had 62 points and the entire Mavericks team had 61. Bryant had thus achieved an unprecedented feat and never left the field in the fourth quarter. Usually Bryant was criticized for playing too selfish, but after this game, various journalists denounced that he had missed the chance of a one-off performance by missing out completely in the last quarter. On January 16, 2006, before a game between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant made the headlines by shaking hands, hugging each other briefly, and apparently burying their longstanding feud. Six days later, Bryant scored an incredible 81 points in a win over the Toronto Raptors. Not only did he break the team’s 71-point record set by Elgin Baylor, he also scored the second highest score in any NBA game. Only Wilt Chamberlain had 100 points in 1962, more points than Bryant. Bryant’s average score in January 2006 was 43.4 points. At the end of the season, Bryant had broken two more Lakers records: most points (2,832) and most 40-point games (27) in one season. At 35, 4 points per game on average, he led the Lakers to 45 wins and became the top scorer of the current season, but only fourth in the election for the MVP of the regular season. In the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers lost 3: 4 despite a 3-1 lead against the Phoenix Suns for their leader Steve Nash, who had become the regular season’s MVP.

After the season, Bryant underwent an operation on his knee and was forced to miss the 2006 World Cup. He also announced that he would change his shirt number from 8 to 24 at the beginning of the coming season. He was number 24 in high school before moving to 33. Since both numbers were not available at the beginning of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he took his jersey number 143 from the Adidas ABCD Camp, added the three digits and thus came up with jersey number 8.

The 2006/07 NBA season brought Bryant his ninth All-Star Game choice, and his 31 points, six assists and six steals made him the NBA All-Star Game MVP. On March 16, 2007, Bryant achieved his season best of 65 points in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers, which also prevented the Lakers’ eight consecutive defeat. In the following game he gave the Minnesota Timberwolves 50 points and in the next game he scored 60 points against the Memphis Grizzlies. He became the Lakers’ second player after Elgin Baylor, who managed to score at least 50 points three games in a row and was the first since Michael Jordan to do this feat in 1987. In the following game against the New Orleans Hornets, he scored exactly 50 points, becoming the only player alongside Wilt Chamberlain, who won four 50-point games in a row. At the end of the season, he had ten 50-point games – another feat that only Chamberlain and Bryant had managed in one season. Bryant was again the top scorer of the season. In the playoffs, however, the Lakers failed again in the first round at the Phoenix Suns, this time after five games.

MVP (2007-2008)

In the 2007/08 season, on December 23, 2007, Bryant, at 29 years and 122 days, became the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 points in his NBA career. Despite a serious injury to his little finger on his throwing hand, he took part in all 82 games of the Lakers and led them to 57 victories – the best in the Western Conference this season. Thanks to the good team performance and his individual performance on the field, Bryant was selected for the first time as MVP of the regular season. In the playoffs, the Lakers prevailed against the Denver Nuggets, the Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs on their way to the NBA Finals. In the finals, however, they were beaten by the Boston Celtics around Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen after six games.

Career statistics (average, as of April 14, 2016)

season Playoffs

Points per game 25,025.6

Rebounds per game 5.25.1

Assists per game4.74.7

Blocks per game0.50.7

Steals per game 1,41,4

Hit rate 44.7% 44.8%

Hit rate (3 points) 33.0% 33.1%

Hit rate (free throws) 83.7% 81.6%

Repeat (2008-2010)

The 2008/09 NBA season started with eleven victories for the Lakers. After 19 games and 17 wins, the Lakers had the best start to the season in the team’s history. On February 2, 2009, Bryant scored 61 points in a game against the New York Knicks, setting the record for most of a player’s points in Madison Square Garden. Bryant was also selected for the eleventh consecutive start of the NBA All-Star Game and was co-MVP of the game with Shaquille O’Neal. At the end of the season, the Lakers had 65 wins and Bryant was ranked second behind LeBron James as MVP of the regular season. Kobe was elected to the All-NBA and the All-Defensive First Team for the seventh time in his career. After the Lakers against the Utah Jazz, the Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets had prevailed, they were again in the NBA Finals. This time they were able to assert themselves against the Orlando Magic after five games and Bryant was able to secure his fourth NBA championship and his first NBA Finals MVP award.

The following season, 2009/10, Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to score 25,000 points in his NBA career. On April 2, 2010, he extended his contract with the Lakers for a further three years for a total salary of $ 87 million. In the playoffs, his team prevailed in six games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, in four games against the Utah Jazz and in another six games against the Phoenix Suns. In the NBA Finals, the Lakers faced the Boston Celtics, the 2008 NBA champion. The Lakers were able to assert themselves in seven exciting games and win their second championship in a row. Bryant won the championship for the fifth time and the MVP of the NBA Finals for the second time in a row.

The years after the championship (2010-2013)

The Lakers started the new NBA season with eight wins in their first eight games. Bryant was selected for his 13th consecutive NBA All-Star Game, where he was voted the All-Star Game MVP for the fourth time. On January 30, 2011, Bryant scored the 27,000 point in his NBA career and two days later he became one of seven players in NBA history to claim 25,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, and 5,000 assists in their careers. On March 8, 2011, Bryant overtook Moses Malone in the all-time NBA scorer list thanks to 26 points in a game against the Atlanta Hawks and is now ranked 6th. After Shaquille O’Neal’s resignation, he was the highest placed active player. On January 1, 2012, he scored the 28,000 point of his NBA career in a free throw in a game against the Denver Nuggets. At 33 years and 132 days, he’s the youngest player to ever reach this mark. Up to this point, Wilt Chamberlain was the youngest player at 34 years and 363 days. On February 7, 2012, Bryant overtook Shaquille O’Neal in the all-time NBA scorer list with 28 points in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers and now ranks 5th. In the 2012 All-Star game, he became the sole record holder for career points thanks to 27 points in all-star games. On December 5, 2012, Bryant reached 30,000 in a game against the New Orleans Hornets. Point of his NBA career and, at 34 years and 104 days, is the youngest player to ever reach this brand. At that time, Wilt Chamberlain was the youngest player at 35 years and 179 days. According to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain also become the fifth player to join this elite club. Between December 7 and 26, 2012, he ended each game with at least 30 points (35, 34, 42, 31, 30, 34, 30, 34, 34, 40 points). Only two others succeeded after the 34th birthday: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5 games, 1981/82) and Michael Jordan (5 games, 1997/98). The series broke on December 28, 2012 when he scored 27 points against the Portland Trail Blazers. However, he only played in the first three quarters. On March 30, 2013, Bryant overtook 19 points in a game against the Sacramento Kings Wilt Chamberlain in the all-time NBA scorer list and finished 4th. 34, 42, 31, 30, 34, 30, 34, 34, 40 points). Only two others succeeded after the 34th birthday: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5 games, 1981/82) and Michael Jordan (5 games, 1997/98). The series broke on December 28, 2012 when he scored 27 points against the Portland Trail Blazers. However, he only played in the first three quarters. On March 30, 2013, Bryant overtook 19 points in a game against the Sacramento Kings Wilt Chamberlain in the all-time NBA scorer list and finished 4th. 34, 42, 31, 30, 34, 30, 34, 34, 40 points). Only two others succeeded after the 34th birthday: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5 games, 1981/82) and Michael Jordan (5 games, 1997/98). The series broke on December 28, 2012 when he scored 27 points against the Portland Trail Blazers. However, he only played in the first three quarters. On March 30, 2013, Bryant overtook 19 points in a game against the Sacramento Kings Wilt Chamberlain in the all-time NBA scorer list and finished 4th. However, he only played in the first three quarters. On March 30, 2013, Bryant overtook 19 points in a game against the Sacramento Kings Wilt Chamberlain in the all-time NBA scorer list and finished 4th. However, he only played in the first three quarters. On March 30, 2013, Bryant overtook 19 points in a game against the Sacramento Kings Wilt Chamberlain in the all-time NBA scorer list and finished 4th.

Recurring injuries and end of career (2013-2016)

On April 12, 2013, Bryant contracted an Achilles tendon rupture, after which he was suspended for eight months until December 8. After completing six games, Bryant contracted a fracture of the lateral tibia head in his left knee, causing him to be out for the rest of the season. The Lakers played the worst season in their club history and clearly missed the playoffs. Bryant returned to the 2014/15 NBA season for his 19th NBA season, matching John Stockton, who also played 19 seasons for the same team. On December 14, 2014, Bryant overtook Michael Jordan in the all-time NBA points list, finishing third behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. He injured himself again on January 21, 2015, in the game against the New Orleans Pelicans, when he got a rotator cuff rupture in his right shoulder while dunking. He had to undergo surgery again and was out for the entire season. To date, Bryant had only played 35 games of the season for the Lakers. He was called to the All-Star Game in 2015. However, as in the previous year, he was unable to participate in the game due to his injury. In November 2015, Bryant announced that he would end his career at the end of the season. Bryant was nominated by the fans as a starter for the All-Star Game 2016, which ensured his 18th participation. On April 13, 2016, Bryant led the Lakers in his last game with a personal season best of 60 points to a 101:96 win over Utah Jazz. This was also a record point in the 2015/16 season. He’s also the oldest player who could ever break the 60-point mark. In his last NBA year, Bryant scored 17.6 points on average. The Lakers ended the season as the second worst team of the season.

Awards and records

NBA Awards

MVP (most valuable player in the league): 2008 ahead of Chris Paul

Five-time NBA champion: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010

NBA Finals MVP Award: 2009, 2010

18-time NBA All-Star: 1998-2016 (exception 1999: due to the league-wide lockout, there was no All-Star Game, 2014 and 2015 he did not take part in the All-Star Game due to injuries)

Four-time NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011

Two-time NBA Scoring Champion: 2006 (35.4), 2007 (31.6)

Fifteen appointments to the All-NBA team:

First Team: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Second Team: 2000, 2001

Third Team: 1999, 2005

Twelve appointments to the all-defensive team:

First Team: 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

Second team: 2001, 2002, 2012

Most points in one season: 2006 (2832), 2003 (2461), 2007 (2430)

Most points per game in one season: 2005-2006 (35.4)

Most points per game in the playoffs: 2006-2007 (32.8)

NBA All-Rookie Second Team: 1997

NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Champion: 1997

International awards

Gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics

Records

Second highest score during a game in NBA history: 81 points against the Toronto Raptors in the 2005/06 season (Wilt Chamberlain ranked 1st with 100 points in the Philadelphia game against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962)

The average of 35.4 points per game in the 2005/06 season is the ninth highest in NBA history (the top 8 are Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Michael Jordan and Rick Barry)

“40+” point games (in regular season): 100

“50+” point games (in regular season): 22

Triple doubles (career): 19

Most played games on Christmas Day (December 25): March 16

Most scored points in games on Christmas Day: 395

Second highest total score for Allstar games: 290 (as of July 11, 2017)

Youngest player to score 30,000 points (Bryant was 34 and 104 days old at the time; the record was broken by LeBron James in the 2017/18 season)

81-point game

On January 22, 2006, Bryant scored 81 points in a game against the Toronto Raptors, the second highest score ever in the NBA (after Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points). This is the highest score that has been achieved since the 3-point line was introduced. After the game, Bryant’s own teammates asked him to sign the box scores (printed game statistics).

A short time earlier, he had scored 62 points against the Dallas Mavericks in three quarters before voluntarily going out of the game as it was already decided at that point (the Lakers had 95 points, Dallas only 61). On February 3, 2009, Bryant scored a new stadium record in Madison Square Garden with 61 points in an away game against the New York Knicks, which lasted until January 24, 2014 – Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points.