Kobe Bean Bryant was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, Kobe Bryant spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Bryant won five NBA championships, and was an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), and a two-time NBA Finals MVP. Bryant also led the NBA in scoring twice, and ranks fourth on the league’s all-time regular season scoring and all-time postseason scoring lists.
Kobe Bryant’s legacy will live on at the Smithsonian Museum where his jersey from the 2008 NBA Finals now hangs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bryant wore the jersey in Game 5 of the ’08 NBA Finals, the night the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics. Kobe dropped 25 that night.
The Celtics ended up winning the series (remember the Kevin Garnett “Anything is possible” moment?). Kobe was named MVP of the league that season. Plus Mamba led the Lakers to the NBA title in 2009 and 2010. Kobe, a founding donor of National Museum of African American History and Culture, later donated his Game 5 jersey where it will now be featured in an installation called, “Sports: Leveling the Playing Field.” The text next to the jersey reads, “In 1996, Kobe Bryant became the first guard to successfully make the leap from high school to the National Basketball Association.
At the time, experts were skeptical that high school wing players could compete in the NBA. His success ushered in the modern era of younger players in the league.” FYI, Bryant’s jersey will be on view next to a pair of LeBron James 15 “Equality” sneakers by Nike, museum officials say.