Skip to main content

Kobe Bryant was more than just a basketball player. Sure, his career on the court spurred others to take up a love of basketball and made him a legend, but basketball wasn’t Bryant’s only claim to fame. He was also an award-winning writer, Olympian, husband, and father.

Kobe Bryant | Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

Since news of Bryant’s tragic death broke earlier today, fans have been looking back on the star’s life and career.

Kobe Bryant’s career

Some might say that Bryant was always destined for greatness. As the son of former NBA star Joe Bryant, basketball was in his blood. Bryant got noticed for his talent when he played for Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania. After he graduated, he went into the 1996 NBA draft. He was picked up by the Charlotte Hornets but then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. In his rookie year, he won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1997. The next season, he was named an All-Star. Between 2000-2002, Bryant and Shaquille O’ Neal took the Lakers to three back to back NBA championships.

In 2008 and 2012, Bryant won gold medals in the Olympics as part of the U.S. national team. He is also tied with Bob Pettit for the most All-Star MVP Awards, with four awards.

Not many basketball players can claim fame in arenas outside of sports. But in 2017, Bryant wrote a film that would later earn him an Academy Award. Dear Basketball was written and narrated by Bryant and was based on a letter that the star wrote to The Player’s Tribune to announce his retirement. Bryant is the first basketball player to have ever won this award.

At the end of the 2015-2016 season, Bryant retired from basketball.

How did Kobe Bryant die?

Earlier today, Bryant died in a helicopter crash in California. According to reports from ESPN, Bryant was on the way to a basketball game with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, when the crash happened. There were seven other people on board, including another teammate and a parent. There were no survivors of the crash.

Reactions to Kobe Bryant’s death

Fans and celebrities have been reeling from Bryant’s sudden passing ever since the news broke.

“The passing of Kobe Bryant, his thirteen-year-old daughter, and the three other passengers makes you really realize how precious and incredibly fragile life is … rest in peace,” one person tweeted.

For many, Bryant was the epitome of what a player should be.

“I can’t believe the news of #KobeBryant,” another fans wrote. “I’m not a Lakers fan, but a Kobe fan. I remember watching a news clip when Kobe came in the league and some of his teammates asked him to go out to clubs and he would say no. RIP Kobe and GiGi. So sad.”

“Growing up Kobe Bryant was a huge inspiration to me,” one person said. “Made me part of who I am today in my competitive spirit and drive to be the best I can be at what I decide my craft is… I never got to meet the man but someday I will. RIP @kobebryant and to your family my condolences.”

What was Kobe Bryant’s net worth at the time of his death?

At the time of his death, Bryant was worth $600 million according to Celebrity Net Worth. During his time as a Laker, Bryant earned over $328 million in salary. He also earned around $350 million from endorsements, bringing his total earnings during his career as an NBA player to $680 million.

Don’t Miss: Kobe Bryant’s Surprising Car Collection