When news broke of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other passengers, people around the world were both stunned and heartbroken.
Not only was Kobe a basketball legend with a long list of career achievements and accolades, but his accomplishments off the court were just as impressive, if not more so. Here’s a look at the incredible life of “The Black Mamba,” Kobe Bryant.
Kobe’s Career Highlights
Kobe was well-known as one of the hardest-working athletes in history. From the moment he entered the NBA at age 18, he started racking up an impressive list of achievements including:
- Five-Time NBA Champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)
- 17 consecutive selections for NBA All-Star
- Slam Dunk Champion (1997)
- Second-most points scored in an NBA game (81 vs. Raptors)
- Most consecutive seasons with a single NBA team (20 seasons with the Lakers)
- Most three-pointers in a single game (12 vs. Seattle)
- Two-time NBA Finals MVP (2009 & 2010)
- Two Olympic gold medals (Team USA 2008 & 2012)
Kobe Bryant announced his retirement in 2015 and played his final game to a sold-out crowd in the Staples Center on April 13, 2016.
Filmmaker and Author
Always having a flair for doing things beyond what’s expected, Kobe announced his retirement with a poem, titled “Dear Basketball,” which was released on The Players’ Tribune website.
He went on to turn the poem into a short (5 minute, 20 second) film which earned him an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Byrant also released a book in 2018, titled “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play.”
At the time of his death, he was also co-authoring a children’s book aimed at inspiring underprivileged children. Unfortunately, co-author Paulo Coelho deleted the book after learning of Kobe’s passing, stating that it “didn’t make sense” to publish the book without him.
Kobe and his wife Vanessa were both very charitable-minded. Together they founded the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, which operates under the mission of “helping young people in need [and] encouraging the development of physical and social skills through sports and assisting the homeless.”
Kobe was the official ambassador for the nonprofit After-School-All-Stars, an organization that provides comprehensive after-school programs for children. He also founded the Kobe Bryant China Fund, which provides health and education programs.
Kobe Byrant began his business career by co-founding the venture capital firm Bryant Stibel in 2013. More than just an investor, he quickly made a name for himself as a visionary and a brand builder.
Separately from his company, he also made his mark as an incredibly astute investor when he made millions of dollars with an investment in Bodyarmor SuperDrink, which took a huge jump in 2018 following Coca-Cola’s purchase of a minority state in the company.
In 2016, he founded media company Granity Studios which focuses on creative storytelling centered around sports.
He also had a lucrative, long-time partnership with Nike which spanned back to 2003. In 2017, Nike and Bryant partnered to form the Mamba League, which gave free access to basketball to hundreds of kids. He later created the Mamba Sports Academy, which provided broad athletic and lifestyle training across a variety of sports and skill levels. He was on his way to a youth game at the Mamba Sports Academy on the day of the helicopter crash.
The world certainly won’t be the same without Kobe Bryant in it. Our hearts here at The HAUS Automotive Service Center go out to his wife Vanessa, their surviving daughters, and the loved ones of all the other crash victims.