Kobe Bryant, aka the Black Mamba, is no stranger to controversy. Bryant has been in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 16 years. Bryant finished his senior year at Lower Merion High school and was ready for the NBA. He was selected by the Charlotte Hornets and was later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1996 NBA Draft. A shooting guard for the Lakers, he’s won five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals and has played in the NBA All-Star game 15 times. In 2003-2004, Bryant dealt with a sexual assault case that was later settled out of court. Recently, Bryant has been working to make sure that his wife, Vanessa Bryant, is happy and that they can remain a family for their two daughters.


Kobe Bryant as a young boy, before he became, the “Black Mamba.”


Kobe Bryant in high school


Young Kobe Bryant and veteran Shaquille O’Neal were teammates before they fell out over their 2004 NBA Finals loss. Shaq was traded to the Miami Heat and Bryant was left behind to lead the team alone.


The Black Mamba showing you what an NBA champion looks like


Kobe Bryant kept a ring on it.  They’ve been married since 2001.


Bryant celebrates with teammates Dwight Howard and Steve Nash


Let’s stay together. In January 2013, it was rumored that Vanessa would sign a petition to dismiss her divorce papers.


Even President Obama is a fan of the Black Mamba. Bryant presents a jersey to Obama during an event with the National Basketball Association 2009 champions in the East Room of the White House on Jan. 25, 2010. The Lakers bested the Orlando Magic to win the NBA Finals in 2009.