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Kobe Bryant (Basketball Player)
Kobe Bryant is an American All-Star basketball player who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant became famous in 1996 as the first shooting guard in basketball history to be drafted out of high school. He has helped the Lakers win three back-to-back championships and has twice been the NBA’s leading scorer. He was the season's MVP in 2007-08.

Bryant was born in 1978 in Philadelphia. He was named after the beef famous in Kobe, Japan. His father was a Philadelphia 76ers player. When Bryant was six, his family moved to Italy. He learned to play soccer and once considered becoming a professional soccer player. Back in the USA, he excelled in high school basketball and joined the NBA, aged 17.

Bryant joined the Lakers in 1996. His first three seasons were spent coming off the bench but he still managed to become a favourite with fans. From 2000, Bryant was one of the top shooting guards in the league. He helped the Lakers win NBA championships in 2000, 2001, and 2002 and entered basketball’s elite. He has become a cornerstone of the Lakers team.

The Lakers did not reach the NBA Finals again until 2008, when they finished runner-up. Bryant continued his high scoring but had trouble on and off the court. His coach called him ‘uncoachable’ and he hit the headlines after being accused of rape. In 2007, Bryant became the youngest player to reach 20,000 points. He remains one of basketball’s true greats.
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