Kobe Bryant, famously known as the Black Mamba, left an indelible mark on the world of basketball and sports in general. If the legend would’ve been alive, he would be celebrating his 45th birthday today. On his birth anniversary today, here are some incredible facts about the legendary player.
Kobe received his name when his father, inspired by a menu, decided to name him after the prestigious and costly Japanese beef known as Kobe beef.
Kobe wasn't particularly fond of having his name associated with a fatty beef cut. Therefore, in 2010, he initiated a legal action against the Japanese city of Kobe in an attempt to gain the rights to rename their iconic product.
Kobe Bryant spent his entire 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, securing five championship victories along the way. He holds the distinction of being the first player in NBA history to complete two decades with a single team.
Kobe spent his formative childhood years in Italy before making the move to the United States. As a result of his years living in Italy during his youth, he acquired fluency in the Italian language.
In 1997, Kobe Bryant achieved the distinction of becoming the youngest player ever to win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
Kobe's father, Joe Bryant, was a professional basketball player, and participated in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for a duration of eight years.
What set Kobe apart and made him truly exceptional was his remarkable dedication to his workout regimen. Reportedly, he would begin his training precisely at 3:30 AM every morning no matter what.
In 2001, at the age of 23, Kobe Bryant married his longtime girlfriend, Vanessa Laine, whom he had first met in 1999. But Kobe’s parents did not attend his wedding.
It might be unexpected, but it's a fact that Kobe held the record for the most missed shots in NBA history, totaling 14,481 misses.
Kobe Bryant began his basketball journey at the tender age of three, with the Lakers being his favorite all this while.
Kobe Bryant's (also known as Black Mamba) legacy extends far beyond his on-court achievements. He was more than just a basketball player. He was an icon, a role model, and a symbol of dedication and determination.