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The Draft Of Kobe Bryant

What can be said about Kobe Bryant that has not already been said a million times? He is a once in a lifetime athlete that changed not only the sports world, but the world as a whole. When you look back at the Draft of Kobe, in the 1996 NBA Draft, he was a steal of a pick. Learn more about the Draft of Kobe Bryant below.

Kobe Bean Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant was born on August 23, 1978. He is from Philadelphia. Kobe is the son of former NBA player, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant. Kobe spent much of his youth in Italy. His father, after ending his career in the NBA, played in the Italian League starting in 1984. Kobe Bryant grew up around the game in Italy. The game was a passion for him at an early age. He embraced the Italian culture, learning the language and accepting its way of life.

Kobe Bean Bryant

Coming to America

Kobe’s family would return to the United States in 1991. Kobe would play basketball for Lower Merion High School. Early on, while in high school, he was planning to go straight to the pros. He was playing in scrimmage games against the Philadelphia 76ers as a teenager. Kobe had his path laid out very early for himself.


Kobe Bryant was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13 overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. Kobe entered the draft straight out of high school. His youth is probably why he went so low in the draft. He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers right after being drafted by Charlotte.

Kobe Bryant draft

Iconic Draft Class

Kobe going so low in the 1996 Draft is shocking when you look back at it today. But his youth obviously was a factor in where he went, but the talent in 1996 is legendary. The Number 1 pick in the Draft was the legend, Allen Iverson. Other big names included Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Jermaine O’Neal, and Stephon Marbury. Other veterans also came out in the 1996 Draft, including Kobe’s long time teammate, Derek Fisher. With so much talent available, a teenager who skipped college seemed like a risky option.

The Legacy of Kobe

Kobe’s basketball career was one of all-time best. From winning the MVP Award in 2008, to scoring 81 points in a game, Kobe is one of the best to ever do it. When Kobe ended his basketball career in 2016, he ended one chapter of his life, but he had much more planned.

Kobe Bryant draft day


In 2018, Bryant won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball. Kobe was also dedicated to his daughters. He had embraced and excelled at being a father, and was mentoring his daughter, Gianna Bryant, to follow in his footsteps as a basketball player.

Global Icon

On January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven other people, were killed in a helicopter crash. Kobe’s legacy lives on today, and he is appreciated as not just a world class athlete, but also a global icon.


- Adam C. Better