On August 24, we will commemorate the first Kobe Bryant Day. For many ambitious sportsmen and young people growing up in Los Angeles and other parts of the world, Kobe Bryant was more than just a basketball player; he was a cultural idol. We honor Kobe Bryant’s life and talent on the day his numbers (8 and 24) coincide, as well as that of his daughter Gianna, whose life was tragically cut short.
History Of Kobe Bryant Day
Joe Bryant, a former NBA player, and Pamela Cox Bryant welcomed Kobe Bean Bryant into the world on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When Bryant was three years old, he started playing basketball. When he was six years old, his father left the NBA and relocated his family to Italy so he could play basketball professionally at a lower level.
Bryant picked up Italian quickly and blended in well with his new way of life. Growing up, Bryant’s grandfather would send him NBA game DVDs so he could watch them and learn about his favorite team, the Lakers. Bryant would take a summer flight back to the US to participate in a basketball summer league.
Bryant continued to play basketball at Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia after his family relocated back to the United States. As a freshman, he was a member of the varsity squad. He had interest from numerous college recruiters while he was playing high school basketball, with Duke, Michigan, North Carolina, and Villanova at the top of his list. Bryant thought about leaving college and entering the NBA right after high schooler Kevin Garnett was selected by the league in 1995.
In 1996, Kobe Bryant, then 17 years old, decided to enter the NBA right away, making him just the sixth player ever to do so. This choice received a lot of attention not only because it was unusual but also because his basketball prowess and excellent SAT results allowed him to attend any institution of his choice. Instead, after being acquired through a deal with the Charlotte Hornets, he decided to follow his childhood goal and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In front of a packed house with standing room only, Bryant made his Summer Pro League debut in Long Beach, California, scoring 25 points. He ended with an average of 24.5 points and 5.3 rebounds over the course of four games, scoring 36 points in the game’s finale. He became the youngest starter in NBA history and the youngest player to ever play in a game.
Bryant made a name for himself in the league as a top guard during the 1998–1999 season. When guards Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones were traded, Bryant, who was then a rookie, was moved to the starting lineup and started all 50 games of the lockout-shortened season. Sports writers were comparing his abilities to those of Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan even at this early stage of his career.
Kobe participated in a total of 20 seasons while he was a member of the Lakers. In 1,346 regular season games, he averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. He took part in 18 All-Star Games and received one MVP Award. Bryant competed in basketball for the US Olympic team in Beijing and London in the summers of 2008 and 2012, respectively, earning gold each time. Kobe Bryant revealed on November 29, 2015, that he will be leaving the NBA after the 2015–16 season, conceding that his abilities were deteriorating due to years of playing and injuries.
Bryant was an enthusiastic giver of money. Kobe was named an honorary ambassador of After-School All-Stars, granted over 250 wishes to children with terminal illnesses through the Make A Wish Foundation, raised more than $81 million for cancer research through Stand Up to Cancer, co-founded the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation with his wife to provide comprehensive services to homeless children in Los Angeles, and contributed at least $1 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture throughout his career.
Kobe Bryant, 41, his daughter Gianna, 13, six family friends, and a pilot took a helicopter ride on January 26, 2020, at 9:06 a.m. PST. The party was en route to Bryant’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball match. LAPD helicopters and the majority of other air traffic were grounded due to light precipitation and fog. The chopper caught fire after colliding with a mountainside in Calabasas around 9:45 a.m.
Kobe Bryant famously said that his basketball legacy is his daughter Gianna Bryant. She was a dedicated athlete who aspired to join the WNBA. When questioned why he and his wife never had a boy to carry on their legacy, Kobe functioned as his daughter’s coach and basketball mentor. He frequently turned to the very skilled Gianna to provide the response. Not just Kobe Bryant’s passing, but also that of his daughter and the regrettably unfulfilled promise she once held, should be remembered.
Kobe Bryant Day By The Numbers
Kobe Bryant currently holds the fourth-highest point total in NBA history—33,643—with 1,346 games played.
Kobe Bryant set a single-season record for most points scored (35.4) during the 2005–2006 NBA season.
At the Staples Center on January 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant scored 81 points as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Toronto Raptors 122-104.
Kobe Bryant scored 60 points for the Lakers on April 13, 2016, in his farewell game.
Kobe was named to the All-NBA team 15 times.
Kobe Bryant was named to the NBA All-Defense first team nine times in total.
Kobe Bryant received the honor of “NBA Player of the Month” 17 times.
Kobe Bryant received the title of “Player of the Week” 32 times.
Why Kobe Bryant Day Is Important
1. He Was A Father
In addition to being a cultural phenomenon, Kobe Bryant was a devoted husband and father to Gianna, Natalia, Bianka, and Capri Bryant. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant was by his side during his final moments.
2. He Was A Husband
On the set of a music video in 1999, Kobe first got to know Vanessa Laine Bryant, his future wife. A year later, he made her a marriage proposal, and they wed in April 2001. Since then, the couple has been together every day.
3. He Was A Sports Icon
A once-in-a-lifetime skill with a competitive drive that made him one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Kobe was more than just an NBA Hall of Famer. People refer to him by name when they attempt to get a balled-up piece of paper into the trash can on the first try.
How To Observe Kobe Bryant Day
1. Re-Watch Kobe Bryant’s highlights
Find your favorite collection of Kobe Bryant’s historic basketball career on YouTube, or perhaps just the goofy anecdotes that helped him develop his reputation as a likable and humorous person.
3. Donate To The Charities He Supported
Bryant had a strong commitment to philanthropy and constantly helped those in need. Consider giving to After-School All-Stars, Stand Up to Cancer, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, or the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation on Kobe Bryant Remembrance Day.
3. Don The Numbers 8 and 24
Kobe wore the number 8 when he first entered the NBA but changed it to the number 24 after he felt that he had transitioned from rookie to leader. Wear Kobe Bryant’s iconic numbers on Kobe Bryant Memorial Day to honor him.
Kobe Bryant Day Dates
Kobe Bryant Day has highlighted that his legacy can’t be eclipsed by any other player. Even though he was in the public eye for all the wrong reasons, people still admire him from afar. The fact that Kobe has not forgotten his roots also means that there will always be a place for him in sports.
For years to come, fans can observe Kobe Bryant Day and celebrate his career without judgment or bias. All this just goes to show how great an athlete he truly was. Thanks for reading our blog.