The faction that considers Kobe Bryant to be the greatest player in the history of the NBA might be in the minority in the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate, but one thing that is undebatable is his impact in the premier basketball league and his place as one of the top ten players in the game’s history. From a young age, Kobe Bryant showed the talent of a superstar, and with the height and weight to match, he went on to cement his place among the best in the history of basketball.
Here is a look at Kobe Bryant’s journey to basketball immortality through how his age, height, and weight helped him achieved greatness.
How Kobe Bryant’s Age, Height, and Weight Helped His Career
Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia on the 23rd of August, 1978, and at the age of 3, he began playing basketball. His early introduction to basketball helped solidify his passion for them, as well as aid his development in regards to the basic skills of the sport.
Aside from playing the game, he fell in love with the Lakers as a young man growing up, and also studied NBA games at a young age, and by the time his family relocated back to the United States in 1991 when he was 13 years of age, he had more knowledge and practical skill of basketball better than any of his peers.
High School Career
By the time he was 13 years of age, Kobe Bryant had reached a height of 5 feet 9 inches, which, combined with the knowledge and skills he had acquired through his early introduction to the sport, made him a formidable high school player. As a result, he had a spectacular high school career, which earned him national recognition.
He became the first freshman in decades to start for Lower Merion High School varsity team, averaging 31 points and five assists per game in his junior year. As a senior player in his senior year, he helped his team to a state championship, their first championship in 53 years, posting a personal record of 30.8 points per game, with 6.5 assists and 12 rebounds.
At the age of 17, Kobe Bryant ended his high school career with several awards to his name, including the Naismith High School Player of the Year Award, and he was also his high school’s all-time leading scorer.
Convinced he had what he took to play in the pro league and a growth spurt that has seen him reach a height of 6 feet 6 inches and a weight of 96 kg, Kobe decided to forgo his college career and entered the 1996 NBA Draft. He was selected in 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets, who, in turn, traded him to the LA Lakers, in fulfillment of a prior trade agreement.
At the age of 18, in the Summer Pro League, Kobe Bryant made his debut in the NBA, scoring 25 points in his first game. His appearance in the NBA as a rookie player made him the youngest player to ever play in the league and the youngest NBA starter ever. His string of accomplishment at a young age included becoming the youngest NBA All-Star starter in the league’s history, a feat he accomplished in his second season at the age of 20.
After the completion of his introductory years in the league, he went on to establish himself as one of the best players in the league, starting from the 1998/1999 season, and with the help of Phil Jackson, coach of the LA Lakers, and a partnership with Shaquille O’Neal, helped the Lakers become a powerhouse in the league, becoming the youngest player to win three championships at the age 23.
In the 2003/04 season, when he was 24 years old, his remarkable run in the league was threatened when he was accused of sexual assault. At the end of controversy and other low points in Kobe’s career, including a public feud with Ray Allen, the Philadelphia-born player returned to the league’s summit, going on a remarkable run where he scored 81 points in a game and scored more than 45 points in four consecutive games, finishing the 2005/06 season as the league’s scoring title, the first in his career at the age of 28.
Between 2007 and 2010, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player to score 25,000 points at the age of 31 and become the all-time leading scorer in Lakers’ franchise history. He also won first fifth NBA Championship, defeating the Boston Celtics.
After 20 seasons in the NBA, in the 2015/16 season, Kobe Bryant announced his retirement from basketball at the age of 38, having played more than 1,346 games, averaging 25 points and 4.7 assists per game.
He died on 26 January 2020 in a helicopter crash alongside his 13 year old daughter, Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant.