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Celebrating Kobe Bryant’s 40th Birthday With Seven Mamba Facts

Kobe Bryant is a Mount Rushmore candidate for all-time great NBA players.

Kobe Bryant is a Mount Rushmore candidate for all-time great NBA players. Hes also one of the more diverse and multifaceted personalities to grace the game. He spent much of his young life growing up in Italy and speaks more than five different languages. Hes a true renaissance man, conquering all obstacles in his path. 

Today is his 40th birthday. His career ended two years ago, but its really only halftime in his lifes journey

In honor of the seven NBA finals that he went to in his illustrious career, here are seven facts you have to know about the career of Kobe Bean Bryant. 

1. The Rise Of The Black Mamba


In 1996 Kobe, the son of former NBA Player Joe Jellybean Bryant,  began his journey to hoops immortality. USA Today named him the National High School Player of the Year and he won the Naismith Prep Player of the Year awards.


Bleacher Report on Twitter

Why @kobebryant’s predraft workout from his rookie season vs. Michael Cooper has become the stuff of NBA legend http://t.co/cLNKYiVP0M

 Bryant was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th pick overall of the NBA draft and was traded to the Lakers for Vlade Divac, becoming the youngest player in league history at that time at 18 years, 2 months and 11 days.

Kobe Bryant: NBA Rookie Year Highlights | Teenager Doing Work!

As part of our Rookie Season highlights series, we start off by taking a look at The Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, as a skinny teenager in his first year in the NBA. Check out the flash and athleticism he showed at just 18 years old!


He would go on to hold that two-guard spot for 20 years and retired with a 60-point gem in his final game in 2016. 

Kobe Bryant Full Highlights 2016.04.13 vs Jazz – 60 Pts, UNREAL 23 in 4th in his FINAL Game!

Got a Request? Wonder what i’m uploading next? Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/DawkinsMTA Like me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DawkInsMTA Boxscore – http://www.nba.com/games/20160413/UTALAL/gameinfo.html DISCLAIMER – All clips property of the NBA. No copyright infringement is intended, all videos are edited to follow the “Free Use” guideline of YouTube.


2. I Can Fly Like Mike

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Baby Kobe wins the All-Star Weekend slam dunk competition and flexes his supreme athleticism, which complements his highly-skilled fundamental game. 

Kobe Bryant’s 1997 Slam Dunk Contest (The Youngest Champion Ever)

Uploaded by Kobe Can on 2017-01-17.

The 1998 NBA All-Star game was Kobes first as a player. He became the youngest All-Star starter in history at 19 years old. By the end of his career, Kobe had four All-Star Game MVP awards.  

3. Three-peat: Dont Sweat The Technique



The LA Lakers win the NBA Championship three years in a row from 2000-2002.  The Shaq-Kobe dynasty is just a preview of great things to come from Black Mamba. He goes on to win two more championships after Shaq left LA. 


Bleacher Report on Twitter

18 years ago today: Kobe & Shaq come back from a 13-point deficit in the 4th quarter to defeat the Blazers in Game 7 of the 2000 WCF. The beginning of a dynasty https://t.co/2KOZcll1cy

4. Kobe Joins Wilt As A Supreme Bucket Stuffer

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Bryant scores 81 points in the Lakers’ 122-104 win over Toronto. Its the second greatest scoring explosion in NBA history, second only to Wilt The Stilt’s 100 joints in 1962. 

NBA 24-7-365 on Twitter

@kobebryant day on @NBATV – tune in for @chicagobulls from 97, the 98 #allstargame – @Pacers from 00, 97 Dunk Contest, @SacramentoKings from 01, @Raptors 81 point game from 06, @OrlandoMagic 09 Finals, and his final game against the Jazz in 16. #happybirthday #KobeBryant


Say what you want about Kobe and where he ranks among the all-time greats, but he has few equals offensively, his will to win and work ethic was relentless and young players still study his moves to become better offensive players. 

5.  Kobe Hops Into That Revolving Door GOAT Conversation

December 14, 2014 – Kobe surpasses Michael Jordan to become third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, with 32,310 career points and the GOAT conversation started heating up before LeBron hijacked the narrative and left Kobe on the outside looking in at a debate that he should surely be a part of. 

Ballislife.com on Twitter

OTD (03) Kobe Bryant scores 55 (42 in 1st half) vs Michael Jordan & the Wizards. VIDEO: https://t.co/DE3XXscs2x


6. Kobe Relinquishes Kings Crown To LeBron


January 28, 2015 – Kobe undergoes surgery to repair his torn right rotator cuff and is expected to be out nine months. It was the beginning of the end for one of the games mythical hoopers. Mother nature had finally caught up with the one-time Boy Wonder and it officially became The LeBron JamesEra in the NBA. 

First Things First on Twitter

Kobe fans wanted the debate to be “Kobe vs Jordan.” Instead, LeBron got that debate and they had to settle for “Kobe vs Duncan.” @getnickwright explains https://t.co/WYe8sqgKBT

7. Black Mamba Mogul 

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Kobe has transitioned from NBA icon to business mogul in the same fashion as his Lakers predecessor Magic Johnson. Among his many investments, Kobe is a major investor in BodyArmor sports drink. He plans to make it the No. 1 sports drink by 2025 and has an ambitious goal of knocking Gatorade and Powerade out of the top spots. 

Complex on Twitter

Kobe Bryant’s $6 million investment in sports drink BodyArmor now reportedly worth $200M: https://t.co/bX7T0pidSo



BodyArmor is nationally distributed, available in convenience stores, grocery chains and sports clubs. Revenues were on track to hit $200 million in 2017 and the company says it saw 110 percent year-over-year growth in convenience stores.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.