Remembering Kobe Bryant and His Achievements
The basketball world suffered a great loss yesterday when one of the most beloved legends of the NBA passed away in tragic circumstances. Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter accident alongside one of his daughters and seven other people.
In the wake of this horrific news, I decided to honor the man with a look at Kobe Bryant’s greatest achievements in terms of records, stats, and awards.
Kobe Bryant’s Notable Career Stats
Let’s start with the stats that will give you an idea just how good Kobe was at the basketball pitch. The man spent his whole career with the Los Angeles Lakers and played in gold and purple for 20 years.
During that time, Kobe Bryant recorded 33,643 points, which is good enough for the fourth place in the all-time ranking. This achievement was just surpassed by LeBron James but not many others will come close during their careers.
The Black Mamba is also fourth in playoff points with a total of 5,640. He is 14th in the NBA in steals and 20th in assists.
Kobe managed to achieve these accolades in a total of 1,346 NBA games, the 11th most in the history of the competition.
Kobe’s Individual Accolades and Awards
Kobe Bryant is known as one of the most hard-working players in the history of the NBA. Unlike many other athletes with exceptional talent, the Black Mamba was putting all the extra hours in the gym, improving his game constantly.
That earned him plenty of individual awards throughout his career. Kobe was selected 18 times for the All-Star game, winning 4 MVP awards for the big event.
More importantly, he had 15 All-NBA team selections and 11 of them were for the All-NBA first team.
Bryant was the scoring champion of the league twice in 2006 and 2007. In the first of those seasons, he recorded the second-highest scoring game in NBA history when he had 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.
In 2008, Kobe was named the NBA Most Valuable Player for the regular season. He is one of the few people that also have two Finals MVP award to his name. He earned the prize in 2009 and 2010, leading the Lakers to the title on both occasions.
Most people will remember Kobe’s offensive brilliance, but he wasn’t like most of today’s superstars that don’t play defense.
Similarly to his idol Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant’s desire to win made him an absolute powerhouse on both ends of the floor. No wonder he was selected in the NBA All-Defensive teams a total of 12 times throughout his career. Nine of them were for the first NBA All-Defensive team.
Bryant’s Team Awards
There are plenty of great NBA players who have impressive individual stats and awards. Some of them didn’t manage to translate their success to wins and championships for their teams.
That wasn’t the case with Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba is probably the greatest player in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers, as he led the team to 5 NBA Championships in 7 Finals appearances.
The first three of them came in 2000, 2001, and 2002. The duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant will live long in memory as one of the most dominant in the modern history of the game.
While the big man received the MVP awards for all the finals, Kobe’s contribution was crucial.
Even if someone wasn’t convinced that Bryant could lead the team to a championship, all doubts were eliminated in 2009 and 2010.
Shaq was long gone when Kobe won two NBA titles for the Lakers, becoming the Finals MVP on both occasions. While the likes of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom provided some help, the Black Mamba was the leader and the inspiration of this Lakers team.
Finally, Kobe was successful with team USA as well. He was an integral part of the rosters that won gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
I decided to select only the most telling stats, awards, and records of Kobe Bryant for this post, as it should have been a book otherwise. And yet, the numbers I did include prove that the Lakers legend was an absolute machine on the floor.
What they can’t show is the desire and heart of Kobe Bryant. He was one of the toughest competitors out there and a leader like no other. Kobe’s ability to make clutch plays can only be matched by his idol Michael Jordan.
It’s a shame that the man had to pass away so early. May he rest in peace.