Kobe Bryant Jersey History
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First Worn: November 3, 1996
It was the uniform that Kobe Bryant wore the very first time he suited up for the Lakers back on Nov. 3, 1996. The teenager wore these gold threads for home games through the first three years of his career before the Lakers upgraded to their modern look.
First Worn: November 5, 1996
Bryant flew through the air in 1997 wearing this purple kit, dropping hammers to win the Slam Dunk Contest at only 18 years old. However, he also learned some painful lessons in these threads, including tough postseason sweeps by Utah and San Antonio before the three-peat years.
Modern Away 8
First Worn: November 2, 1999
When Kobe stood on the podium to lift up the Larry O’Brien championship trophies in 2001 and 2002, he was wearing this jersey. Bryant also provided one of the great moments of his young career in this outfit, scoring 28 points — including three overtime baskets — to beat Indiana in Game 4 of the 2000 NBA Finals after Shaquille O’Neal had fouled out.
Modern Home 8
First Worn: November 3, 1999
In an almost poetic coincidence, the Lakers didn’t win their first championship since Showtime until they updated their uniforms. When the clock ran out in Game 5 of the 2000 Finals, Kobe and co. celebrated in their gold duds. Just two weeks earlier, they also wore them when Bryant and O’Neal led the team to a 16-point fourth-quarter comeback in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.
First Worn: April 11, 2002
In celebration of the five championship teams of the Minneapolis era, the Lakers wore special throwbacks for their April 11, 2002 game, fittingly against Minnesota. At halftime, L.A. rose a pair of banners to honor the titles and Hall of Famers from 1947-60, while Minneapolis legends like John Kundla, George Mikan and Vern Mikkelsen looked on from center court.
First Worn: February 9, 2003
For the previous seven seasons, players simply wore their own team’s jersey during the All-Star Game. That changed in 2003, as Bryant and the Western Conference wore red threads in Atlanta. On the heels of the Lakers’ three-peat, Kobe received more votes from fans — 1.5 million — than any other player.
First Worn: December 17, 2004
Throwing it back to the Lakers’ final season in Minneapolis, Kobe still looked like the same Black Mamba but in light blue threads. Bryant racked up a triple-double in the unis’ debut with 36 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Lakers would continue to wear them sparingly throughout the season.
First Worn: February 19, 2006
The West fittingly wore red for the 2006 All-Star Game in the Houston Rockets’ arena. Bryant shot just 4-of-11 for eight points, but still helped his squad out with the rest of his game, collecting seven rebounds and seven assists, though the East pulled through by two.
Modern Away 24
First Worn: November 1, 2006
For the first time — on June 14, 2009 in Orlando — Kobe Bryant lifted the Larry O’Brien trophy without Shaquille O’Neal, and he did so after winning the championship in the Lakers’ road unis. Five years later, he’d rock the purple during another milestone, as he passed Michael Jordan for the third-most points in NBA history.
Team USA FIBA Away
First Worn: July 22, 2007
In his first time suiting up for the United States National Team, Bryant immediately asserted himself as the group’s alpha dog. Down by one at the end of the annual Blue vs. White scrimmage, he rose up for a game-winning jumper to steal victory with 6.5 seconds remaining.
Team USA FIBA Home
First Worn: August 22, 2007
After Team USA disappointed in 2004 with a third-place finish at the Athens Olympics, Bryant and several other stars joined to compose the Redeem Team, which first needed to qualify for the Beijing Games at the 2007 FIBA Americas. Kobe went off for 31 points in a title-game win over Argentina to send the Americans back to the Olympics.
First Worn: December 21, 2007
The 76ers honored their 1983 title team during the first time L.A. wore this kit, as both teams donned throwback uniforms to the decade of five Lakers championships. With greats like Julius Erving and Moses Malone in the building, Bryant — a native of Philadelphia — helped the Lakers play spoiler by winning in Philly for the first time in seven years.
First Worn: February 17, 2008
The All-Star uniforms for 2008 in New Orleans took a unique turn, as the West wore gold instead of its usual red. Even more unusual, Kobe hardly played at all, hitting the floor for just three minutes due to a torn ligament in his right pinky.
First Worn: March 23, 2008
For the past eight years, the purple and gold have worn special “Los Lakers” jerseys for their annual Noche Latina. Fluent in Spanish himself, Bryant dropped 36 points on the uniform’s debut night. Along with Italian, Spanish has been a large part of Vino’s life, including when he and Spaniard teammate Pau Gasol would speak Español on the court.
Redeem Team Home
First Worn: July 25, 2008
On their road to gold in Beijing the Americans rocked their home threads four times, including in the opener against their hosts: China. Bryant enjoyed his best all-around game of the tournament in blue, scoring 25 points in a quarterfinal win over Australia.
Redeem Team Away
First Worn: August 8, 2008
When his team needed him most, Kobe was there to provide some late-game heroics in Team USA’s gold medal match against Spain. The Lakers star scored 13 points in a fourth quarter which saw the Spaniards trim America’s lead to two. Bryant even hit a four-point play with three minutes left to seal Olympic victory.
First Worn: February 15, 2009
For the first time in five years, Kobe and Shaq were reunited as teammates at the 2009 All-Star Game in Phoenix. With both being coached again by Phil Jackson, Bryant racked up 27 points, four assists and four steals to earn MVP honors — which he shared with O’Neal, who was named Co-MVP in his then-current city.
First Worn: January 30, 2011
The Lakers honored their 1971-72 team — winners of the franchise’s first championship in Los Angeles — by rocking retro uniforms for their first game against Boston since beating their rivals in Game 7 of the 2010 Finals. Kobe scored 41 that night and reached 27,000 points for his career, as the Lakers would continue to wear this kit on certain occasions.
First Worn: February 20, 2011
Nobody looked better in a 2011 All-Star uniform than Kobe, who dominated in front of his home crowd at Staples Center. The Black Mamba poured in 37 points, 14 rebounds and three steals to earn his fourth MVP award, while his scoring total was the most by anybody in 23 years.
First Worn: February 26, 2012
Clad in Western Conference red once more, Kobe Bryant gave the Orlando All-Star crowd what it wanted by racking up 27 points in the 2012 edition of the midseason exhibition. Though Kevin Durant (36 points) won MVP that year, Kobe still left his mark by passing Michael Jordan for the most career points in All-Star history.
Team USA Home
First Worn: July 12, 2012
The U.S. National Team rolled through the majority of the London Olympics, until it faced Spain in the gold medal round. Bryant provided 17 points to aid the Americans’ 107-100 victory over their fiercest competition, as Team USA captured gold in both of Bryant’s trips to the Games.
Team USA Away
First Worn: July 19, 2012
Bryant and his fellow Americans donned the blue USA jerseys just three times in London, but each produced desired results. They rolled over Tunisia and Argentina by a combined 76 points and squeaked past Lithuania, 99-94, in their only close call before the championship match.
Chuck Daly Commemorative
First Worn: July 22, 2012
Prior to their undefeated campaign at the 2012 Olympics, the Americans donned throwback Dream Team uniforms for an exhibition against Argentina. Team USA’s threads also featured a “CD” patch in honor of the late coach of that 1992 squad, Chuck Daly.
First Worn: December 25, 2012
It was a white Christmas for the Lakers, as Kobe gave fans the gift of victory. Bryant dueled Carmelo Anthony, with both players scoring 34 points in a game that wasn’t decided until the final minutes. In the end, Bryant and the Lakers came out on top 100-94.
First Worn: February 17, 2013
In his penultimate All-Star Game, Bryant was the center of attention, as he received the most votes of all players with 1.6 million. Kobe kept it quiet on the scoreboard in Houston, tallying just nine points, though he did set up his teammates often with eight assists.
First Worn: October 31, 2014
The Black Mamba donned black threads a number of times toward the end of his career, including during the Lakers’ first win of his final season. Co-owner and team President Jeanie Buss called the uniform “a nod to the huge number of people that work behind the scenes to make up one of L.A.’s biggest industries,” as well as the Lakers’ large number of celebrity fans.
First Worn: December 25, 2015
Kobe’s final Christmas game ended with a 94-84 loss to the Clippers, though the Lakers still looked pretty good in holiday script-adorned jerseys. The NBA even gave attention to minute details, such as putting the league’s seal in a faux wax stamp on the back as a reference to holiday cards.
First Worn: February 14, 2016
For his final game against his fellow NBA superstars, Bryant was honored throughout the entire week leading up to the game. He tallied 10 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the West’s victory before exiting to a standing ovation from the Toronto crowd and embraces from his All-Star peers.