Kobe Bryant is a professional basketball player, who played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He first joined the team as a 17-year-old teenager in 1996. During the time, Bryant led the Lakers to five National Basketball Association titles. The most recent championship was in 2010, when the Lakers beat their arch rival, the Boston Celtics. The Lakers also won seven western conference titles and eight Pacific Division titles during Bryant's time.
The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA. They have appeared in 31 championship finals, more than any other teams in the league. The team has won more regular season games than any other franchise. It is clearly one of the premier NBA organizations, which came into existence in 1946.
Before Bryant, the Lakers already had some of the most notable superstars the league has ever known. Players such as George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Magic Johnson. Bryant had been central in establishing, and maintaining the legacy of this great team. He is the latest, and possible greatest of them all.
His individual statistics are astounding. He is the youngest player ever to score 30,000 points. He has been selected to the NBA's All Star team every year he has played, with the exception of his rookie season. He has won two Olympic Gold Medals in Basketball, leading the United States Olympic titles in 2008 in Beijing, and in the London games of 2012. In 2006, Bryant became the 2nd player in the history of the game to score more than 80 points in a single game. Only Chamberlain has scored more. He holds several Laker individual records, including most seasons played, most All Star selections, most points scored, and most playoff games played.