Kobe Bryant averaged 24 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists during the 2003-04 season.
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EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 15 -- The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent guard Kobe Bryant to a contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Per team policy terms of the contract were not released.

Bryant, who has been a free agent since July 1, opted out of the final year of his previous contract at the conclusion of the 2003-04 season.

"Re-signing Kobe was the top priority for our team going into this off-season, so this obviously is a very happy day for the Lakers and our fans," said Kupchak. "We feel Kobe is the best all-around player in the NBA, and at age 25, still not even in his prime, so signing him to this contract gives us a solid foundation as we work to rebuild our roster and remain a premier team for years to come."

Last season, Bryant averaged 24.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while ranking among league leaders in points (4th/24.0), free throw percentage (18th/.852) and minutes per game (23rd/37.6). Named a starter in the 53rd NBA All-Star game after receiving the second most votes in the Western Conference, Bryant was also selected All-NBA First Team and earned All-NBA Defensive First Team honors as well.

In the final game of the regular season at Portland, Bryant tallied 37 points including a pair of three-pointers, the first sending the game into overtime, the second coming with no time remaining in double-overtime to clinch the victory as well as the Pacific Division Title.

In addition to recording his ninth career triple-double 2/28/04 at Washington with 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, Bryant recorded the 30th 40-plus point game of his career 4/13/04 vs. Golden State. In that contest, Bryant tied a franchise record with 10 free-throws in the final quarter against the Warriors.

Among his accolades, Bryant has earned All-NBA honors in each of the last six seasons (First Team in 2002, 2003 and 2004; Second Team in 2000 and 2001; Third Team in 1999) as well as being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team in each of the past five seasons (First Team in 2000, 2003 and 2004; Second Team in 2001 and 2002). A starter in each of the last six All-Star Games, Bryant earned MVP honors at the 2002 contest in his hometown of Philadelphia. Named Western Conference Player of the Month on three occasions while earning Western Conference Player of the Week honors nine times, Bryant is also a two-time winner of NBA Player of the Week honors and has one NBA Player of the Month award for December of 2000.

During the 2002-03 campaign, Bryant established a new NBA record with 12 three-pointers in a single game 1/7/03 vs. Seattle while tying an NBA record later that season with eight three-point field goals in a single half 3/28/03 vs. Washington. During the same season, he became only the third player in NBA history to average 40 or more points in a month with a 40.6 ppg average for the month of February.

Originally acquired by the Lakers from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Vlade Divac on July 11, 1996 after being selected by the Hornets with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, Bryant is the youngest player in NBA history to reach the 10,000-point plateau and ranks among Lakers franchise leaders in points (9th/12,215), field goals made (10th/4,317), three point field goals made (3rd/488), free throws made (5th/3,093) and assists (10th/2,390).

In eight seasons with the Lakers, Bryant has posted career averages of 21.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 561 games.