Kobe Bryant: 1978-2020
Kobe Bryant: 1978-2020

Kobe Bryant: A career in images

Relive key moments from the career of the former Lakers star

From NBA.com Staff

Jan 26, 2020 6:09 PM ET


NBA/Lakers photographer Andy Bernstein reviews his favorite Kobe Bryant images after covering a 20-year career.

Kobe Bryant, the 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash Sunday. He was 41.

Bryant enjoyed one of the greatest careers in NBA history and became one of the game’s most popular players as the face of the Lakers. He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion, and earned 15 All-NBA selections.

Here is a look back at some of the most iconic and memorable moments in his career:

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Kobe Bryant was a high school phenom at Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia.


Kobe Bryant realized his NBA dream in 1996 as he was drafted No. 13 overall by Charlotte.


Kobe Bryant never played for the Hornets and started his NBA career in 1996-97 with the Lakers.


By the 1997-98 season, Bryant was an All-Star -- an honor he'd accomplish 18 times in his career.


After years of playoff letdowns, Bryant and the Lakers won the NBA title in 2000.


By the end of the 2001-02 season, Kobe, Shaq and the Lakers had completed a three-peat.


On Jan. 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant scored a career-best 81 points in a win against Toronto.


In 2008, Bryant won the only NBA MVP of his career as the Lakers reached The Finals.


In 2009, Kobe and the Lakers were NBA champs again. In that series, Bryant won his first Finals MVP.


The final championship (and Finals MVP) in Kobe's career came in 2010, as the Lakers beat the Celtics in Game 7 of The Finals.


Bryant was also a 4-time All-Star Game MVP, earning the last of those honors in 2011.


A pair of free throws on Dec. 14, 2014 moved Kobe past Michael Jordan for No. 3 on the all-time scoring list.


April 13, 2016 marked Kobe's final NBA game as he dropped 60 points on the Jazz in a win.


Kobe made history in 2017 as the Lakers retired both his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys.

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