Yesterday, the world experienced a devastating loss with the passing of retired NBA superstar and global icon, Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria.
A former-Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard who was highly respected on and off the court, Bryant entered the NBA straight out of high school in 1996 and utilized his passion and perseverance to earn five NBA championships, 18 NBA All-Star selections, as well as two Olympic gold medals during his playing career.
Bryant was an aspirational public figure and continually encouraged his peers and fans to believe in themselves in both the sporting world and the real world.
The tremendous talent he displayed during his 20-season career was nothing short of record-breaking and his accomplishments will be recognized for generations to come.
As we say goodbye to one of the NBA’s most extraordinary players, we at Guinness World Records would like to take this time to celebrate Kobe Bryant’s remarkable legacy and accomplishments in the sport of basketball.
Youngest NBA player to start a game – (1997)
Bryant began making history early on in his career at the age of 18 years 158 days, when he started his first NBA game for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Dallas Mavericks on 28 January 1997.
Most wins of the NBA All-Star Game MVP – (2002 – 2011)
Bryant always seemed to shine the brightest on the biggest of stages, and the NBA’s annual All-Star game was no exception. Only one other player in history ties his record for most wins of the National Basketball Association's All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award and that’s Bob Pettit (USA). Each were honored with this award a total of four times. Bob Pettit received his in 1956, 1958, 1959, and 1962, and later this feat was matched by Kobe in 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011.
Youngest basketball player to appear in 1,000 games in NBA career – (2010)
Kobe Bryant tipped-off his professional basketball career in 1996, after being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers from the Charlotte Hornets on Draft Day. Beginning his career at the age of 18 allowed him to become the world’s youngest player to appear in 1,000 games at the age of 31 years and 177 days when playing for Los Angeles Lakers against the Memphis Grizzlies on 23 February 2010.
Most NBA All-Star Game starts - (2016)
Just four years ago, Kobe Bryant broke the record for the most NBA All-Star Game starts which was accomplished in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 14 February 2016 after starting 15 times. This mark was equaled by LeBron James (USA), in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, last year on 17 February 2019.
First person to win an Olympic medal and an Oscar – (2018)
Not many have the ability to achieve the number of accolades that Bryant had in his career, but he took his legacy a step further in 2018 when he became the world’s first person to win an Olympic medal and an Oscar. Representing the United States in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, he won two gold medals while playing with the USA Men’s National Team. Just three years after, Kobe created the animated short Dear Basketball, based on a poem her wrote when he was announcing his impeding retirement from the NBA. The Lakers’ star went on to write and narrate the production, which was illustrated by Disney animator, Glen Keane. At the 90th Academy Awards ceremony held on 4 March 2018, Bryant received the Oscar for his project, making history.