L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant: Then and now
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.
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.
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.