LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant's tragic death sent shock waves across the entire sporting community. The 41-year-old along with his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in the helicopter crash near Calabasas, California. Sports professionals and fans from around the world mourned the death of the basketball legend, which left a massive hole in the NBA
In a career that spanned for almost 20 years, Kobe Bryant made his name with the Lakers and is now widely regarded as one of the best players in NBA history. While discussing his legacy in basketball could turn out to be quite a lengthy affair, here is a scaled-down look at all the Kobe Bryant accomplishments in the NBA and see how many MVP does Kobe have.
It is common knowledge that Kobe Bryant spent his entire career with the Lakers. However, Bryant was not drafted by the Lakers. Instead, Kobe Bryant was drafted as the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA draft by Charlotte Hornets. Hornets, who were reported to have no interest whatsoever in Kobe Bryant, picked him up only to send him straight to the Lakers in a trade that involved center Vlad Divac.
After all the draft fiasco, Bryant ended up in LA and enjoyed an illustrious 20-year career with the Lakers. Bryant played 1,346 regular-season games for the Lakers scoring 33,643 points at an average of 25 points per game. Bryant also registered 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game for the Lakers. In the postseason, Bryant featured in 220 games, scoring at an average of 25.6 points per game.
Bryant was quite an influential figure in LA. He forged a strong partnership with Shaquille O'Neal, who joined the Lakers from Orlando Magic. With Big Shaq and Kobe leading, Lakers dominated the post-Jordan era, winning a three-peat from 2000-02. Then, Shaq left after a much-publicised feud with Kobe Bryant. While the Lakers managed to keep Kobe in LA, they endured six seasons without an NBA championship. Bryant finally ended their wait for another championship, helping them win the top prize in 2009 and 2010.
Astonishingly, the Lakers are yet to win an NBA championship since 2010.
The legacy that Kobe Bryant left in the NBA is a clear indication of the long list of honours he received in the NBA. Bryant is an 18-time NBA All-Star, one-time NBA MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, four-time NBA All-Star Game MVP, 11-time All-NBA First Team member and a nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member. Apart from the said honours, Bryant is also a two-time NBA scoring champion (2006 & 07).
The latter stages of his career saw Kobe struggle with several injuries as he managed to make just 41 regular-season appearances in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 season combined. On November 29, 2015, Bryant finally announced that the 2015/16 NBA season will be his last in the NBA. Bryant played 66 times in his last season while racking up another 12 appearances in the playoffs.
Lakers retired Kobe's No. 8 and No. 24 jersey at his emotional retirement ceremony at the Staples Center.