Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978(1978-08-23)) is an American All-Star shooting guard who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career and made instant headlines when he decided to go directly into the NBA upon graduation. Bryant and then-teammate Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. After O'Neal's departure following the 2003–04 season, Bryant became the cornerstone of the Lakers franchise. He led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons. In 2006, Bryant scored a career high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second highest number of points scored in a single game in NBA history, second only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point performance. Bryant was awarded the regular season's Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in the 2007–08 NBA season and led his team to the 2008 NBA Finals as the first seed in the Western Conference. In 2008, he won a gold medal as a member of the 2008 Summer Olympics U.S. Men's Basketball Team, occasionally referred to as "The Redeem Team," a play on the name of the first Olympic team that featured
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