By Dave McMenamin

May 31, 2008 -- Kobe Bryant began his NBA career 12 seasons ago back in 1996-97, the same year the league was celebrating its 50th anniversary. In those first 50 years leading up to Bryant's rookie season, NBA fans got their fix from newspapers, magazines, television, VHS tapes (anybody remember Come Fly with Me?) and the occasional basketball video game for Sega Genesis. (NBA Jam was awesome!)

When Kobe came along, it just so happened that it was right around the same time the league made its maiden voyage down the "information super highway," and NBA.com was born.

In the same way Kobe was a skinny sixth man when he entered the pros, the neophyte version of NBA.com was just a shell of the Internet destination it's grown to be today.

As Bryant prepares to embark on his fifth NBA Finals appearance of his illustrious 12-year career, all of us here at NBA.com figured it was time to honor him with a page of all the stuff we've done to cover him since the '90s when he wore No. 8 and adidas to today while he rocks No. 24 and Nikes.

On the left side of the page you'll find links to our coverage of his days in the NBA and on the right side you'll find a collection of photo galleries featuring Mamba, followed by a vast array of video highlights documenting his career.

There's plenty to feast your eyes on, so you might want to exercise your mouse hand before click your way through Kobe's career. You could be here for a while.

THE MVP SEASON
FINALS APPEARANCES

Press Release: Bryant Wins 2007-08 MVP Award
Feature: Reaction Around the Web ... Kobe Bryant is MVP
Photos: MVP Trophy Presentation
Press Release: Bryant Named to All-Defensive First Team
Video: Kobe's Top 10 Plays of the Season
Video: Kobe's Top 10 Defensive Plays of '07-08

Finals 2000: L.A. beats Indiana, 4-2 | Kobe's 28 points in Game 4
Finals 2001: L.A. beats Philadelphia, 4-1 | Kobe's 31 points in Game 2
Finals 2002: L.A. beats New Jersey, 4-0 | Kobe's 36 points in Game 3
Finals 2004: Detroit beats L.A., 4-1 | Kobe's OT forcer in Game 2
Finals 2008: L.A. vs. Boston

CAREER MILESTONES
SCORING FEATS

Info: Career Stats
Dec. 23, 2007: 20,000 Point Club
Inside the Numbers: Kobe's Career
Video: Kobe Reaches the 20K Plateau

81-point Game: Index | Inside the Numbers | Reaction
Video: Watch all 81 points
50-point Games: Five straight in 2006-07
40-point Games: Nine straight in 2002-03
Three-pointers: Record-breaking 12 in one game
Feature: The Ultimate Scorer? | Kobe's Scoring Spree

ALL-STAR GAMES
TEAM USA

10 time All-Star: 1998 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008
Video - 1998: Kobe's First All-Star Game
2002: MVP in Philadelphia
2007: MVP in Las Vegas

USA Basketball: Index
Photos: Kobe's USA Training Regimen
Video: Kobe's USA Training Regimen
Video: Kobe Happy to be on U.S. Squad
Video: Kobe Wireless Practice
Video: Kobe All-Access Team USA

DUNKS
GAME WINNERS

Dunk Contest: Kobe Wins in 1997
Video: Best of the '97 Dunk Contest
Video: Kobe's Top 10 Career Dunks
Video: Kobe's Honorable Mention Career Dunks
Video: Kobe's Top 10 Dunks of 2006-07

Playoffs 2006: Lakers-Suns, Game 4
Video - 2006: First Round Overtime Thriller vs. Phoenix
Finals 2004: Lakers-Pistons, Game 2
Video - 2007: Team USA Blue-White Scrimmage

BACKGROUND
LAKERS.com

Info: Kobe Bryant Hoopedia
Kobe Bryant Blog Day: 24 posts in 24 hours
1996 NBA Draft: First Round Picks
Video: Bryant Drafted No. 13 by Charlotte
Video: Kobe Visits Lower Merion High School

Playoffs 2008: Complete Lakers.com Index
MVP: Complete Lakers.com Index
No. 8: Why He Wore It

Kobe Photo Galleries:
Playoffs 2008
Through the Years
Black and White
Best of Kobe


Kobe Cuts Down the Champs
Kobe Bryant scored 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter to end the Spurs' title reign.
NBA MVP: A Race to Remember
In one of the greatest MVP races in the history of the NBA, Kobe Bryant emerged victorious.
Top 10 Playoffs Career Plays
Watch the top 10 plays that have made Kobe Bryant so tough in the playoffs.
Top 10 Playoffs 2008 Plays
Watch Kobe Bryant's top 10 plays from the first two rounds of the 2008 Playoffs.
Who Made You?: Kobe Bryant
The Lakers' Kobe Bryant talks about the strong guidance he received from his parents, basketball and growing up in Italy.
My Amazing Journey: Kobe Bryant
NBA TV provides a look at Kobe Bryant's journey to the NBA, which includes an extended stay in Italy.
NBA Access: Kobe Bryant Slideshow
NBA Access caught up with 10-time All-Star Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, who takes viewers on a visual trip down memory lane as he narrates a slide show of key moments from his career.
Inside the Mind of Kobe Bryant
First given a ball at the age of two, Kobe Bryant says life and basketball are intertwined for him.
NBA Life: Kobe Bryant Part 1
The Lakers' Kobe Bryant referees a charity basketball game, launches a shoe, and spends some time with his fans.
NBA Life: Kobe Bryant Part 2
Kobe Bryant discusses his role with the After-School All-Stars in Los Angeles program that benefits children in the Los Angeles area.
Make-A-Wish: Kobe Bryant
Watch Kobe Bryant as he makes a young fan's dream come true.
NBA TV: Kobe Street Series
Watch as Kobe Bryant demonstrates his ability to score at will.
Kobe Bryant: 81 in 3 minutes
Catch every point of Kobe Bryant's amazing 81 point performance in 3 minutes.
Look Back: Kobe Bryant Scores 81 Points
On January 22, 2006 Kobe Bryant had an amazing 81-point performance versus the Raptors. Take a look back at the historic night.
Top 10 Career Dunks: Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant walks on air in this highlight reel of the top 10 dunks of his career.

Monday
Oct. 26
Rosters set for opening day

Tuesday
Oct. 27
Start of 2009-10 regular season

Saturday
April 18
2009 NBA Playoffs begin


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