Kobe Bryant
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"Kobe Bean Bryant" is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He entered the NBA directly from high school, and has played for the Lakers his entire career, winning five NBA championships. Bryant is a 17-time NBA All-Star/All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team/All-Defensive team. He has List of National Basketball Association season scoring leaders/led the league in scoring twice, and he ranks third on both the league's List of National Basketball Association career scoring leaders/all-time regular season scoring and List of National Basketball Association career playoff scoring leaders/all-time postseason scoring lists.

The son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, Kobe Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. He declared his eligibility for the NBA Draft upon graduation, and was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the 1996–97 Charlotte Hornets season/Charlotte Hornets, then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest.

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I was just letting the shots fly. You know, I don't leave any bullets in the chamber.

My parents are my backbone. Still are. They're the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.

I'm playing against great players, playing against the best in the world. The competition - that's what I've always wanted.

It doesn't bother me at all. Do I hold any hard feelings? Not at all, ... Life is too short to sit around and hold grudges. I don't hold any whatsoever.

The guy said NBA players are one in a million, ... I said, 'Man, look, I'm going to be that one in a million.'

I don't want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to beKobe Bryant.

Sometimes I do wonder what college would have been like. But I made my decision.

I'll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot.

These young guys are playing checkers. I'm out there playing chess.