Kobe Bean Bryant (23 August 1978 - 26 January 2020) was an American basketball player who played his entire 20-year professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team and was the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2008. Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he led the NBA in scoring during two seasons, ranks fourth on the league's all-time regular season scoring and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. He died in a helicopter crash outside of Calabasas, California, at the age of 41.
- When I was young, my mindset was image, image, image. I took that approach with the media. As I became more experienced I realized: No matter what, people are going to like you or not like you. So be authentic, and let them like you or not for who you actually are. At that point, I started keeping all of my answers blunt and straightforward. I would mix in some humor and sarcasm, too. I think fans and reporters came to appreciate that, came to appreciate the real me.
- The Mamba Mentality : How I Play (2018), "KEEP IT REAL."
- Get over yourself! 'Cause it's not about you, man. Like, okay, you feel embarrassed. You are not that important! Get over yourself! Right, like you are worried about how people may perceive you, and like you are walking around and it's embarrassing because you shot five air balls... Get over yourself.
- interview with Patrick Bet-David, 23 August 2019, posted on YouTube.
- I can’t believe how fast 20 years went by. I mean, this is crazy… To be standing here, standing on the court with my teammates behind me, and appreciate this journey that we’ve been along… I grew up a die heart—I mean it—a die heart Laker fan. Die heart. I mean, I knew everything about every players’ that had played here. So, to be drafted, and then traded to this organization, and to spend 20 years here, I mean, you can’t write something better than this… The thing that had me crackin’ me up all night long was, in fact, I go though 20 years of everybody screaming, ‘pass the ball!’ and I was like, ‘No passing!’ (laugh)… (I also have to thank) my family: my wife, Vanessa, my daughters, Natalia and Gianna. Thank you guys for your sacrifice… What can I say? Mamba Out!
- A speech after Bryant's last game, 13 April 2016, posted on YouTube.
Quotes about Bryant
- I give him all the respect in the world. He is the No. 1 player in the league, by far. It’s like that. With a player like him, he just wants that challenge. He’s just that fierce competitor. He doesn’t want to get out-showed. He’s the one who everybody’s afraid of.
- To me he is the best player in the world right now. That guy doesn't know fear at all. He doesn't care. He would have won it
"Obviously Kobe is an unbelievable player. He can explode for 50 points at any given time. There's nothing we can do about that, and we're just going to have to deal with that. You're never going to stop Kobe. He's just too good. You just have to make him work for what he gets. Kobe is the greatest player I have ever seen at what he does.
- You can set the bar at seven and a half feet and tell them nobody has every jumped that before. And they say, 'I can do it.' And they'll go out and try.
- He's definitely the best player in the NBA — to me. I don't know if winning the (MVP) award is important to him or not. But he has three [championship] rings and that's what it's all about.
- I've been quoted in the past and I will continue to be quoted; I think he's the best player in our league right now.
- He's an unbelievable player. He's God's gift, something that's going to flash before our eyes and I don't think it's ever going to happen again. The only person I can think about he's catching up with is Michael Jordan.
- Kobe Bryant is the dirtiest player with the things he does on the court... But without a doubt he is a beast. He was amazing.
- I think Kobe Bryant should be at the top of the (MVP) list. His game is unstoppable.
- Give you ice, like Kobe right? We sorta like Goldie right? The way, we mode 'em right? I could make you a celebrity overnight.