Kobe Bryant in an official National Basketball Association photo. No date.
Kobe Bryant on Wikipedia
Kobe Bryant on the Internet Movie Database
Kobe Bryant
Imprinting Ceremony held on Saturday, February 19, 2011
Born: Kobe Bean Bryant, August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Age at the time of the ceremony: 32
Died: January 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California, age 41
In a first for the Chinese Theatre, a sports figure, Kobe Bryant, was given the Forecourt Ceremony treatment just prior to a special screening of a Nike commerical he had made. For a long while, this appeared to be an "unofficial" footprinting; the theatre had retained the block in storage, displaying it in the Forecourt when Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash in 2020. Bryant's block was finally placed in the Forecourt in February 2023, which makes him, currently, the only sports figure in the Forecourt.

Kobe Bryant was born in Philadelphia to Pamela and NBA player Joe Bryant. Son Kobe began playing at age three. In 1983, Joe retired from the NBA and moved the family to Italy in order to keep playing basketball professionally. Kobe was a courtside ball boy and cleaner-upper, shooting buckets during halftime. At age 13, the Bryants moved back to Philadelphia. Kobe signed on at the local high school.

Playing for the Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, freshman Kobe was placed on the varsity team, where he attracted the attention of recruiters from all the basketball powerhouses. Being the all-time leading high school scorer was added to Naismith High School Player of the Year, Gatorade's Men's National Basketball Player of the Year, McDonald's All-American and USA Today's All-USA First Team Player.

Bryant became only the sixth player in NBA history to go directly from high school to the league. In the 1996 NBA draft, Kobe signed (well, his folks co-signed for him, since he was 17) with the Los Angeles Lakers — his favorite team — for three years at a Million bucks a year.

Coach Jerry West gave more and more minutes to the impossible-to-get-in-front-of scoring machine. In his first season, the Lakers went to the Western Conference Payoffs against the Utah Jazz, but injuries on the team made Bryant the mop-up guy; The Jazz won.

In his second season, more time led to an average of 15.4 points per game. In November, he met 17-year-old dancer Vanessa Laine. They became engaged six moths later. He was voted to the All-Star Game along with three Laker teammates. In his third season, Kobe started in every one of the 50 game season schedule. The Lakers were now paying him $11.5 Million a year. They went to the Western Conference Finals, but lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

In Kobe's fourth season, 1999-2000, the Lakers began to be coached by Phil Jackson, whose "triangle offence" lifted Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal into superstar territory. The Lakers won the NBA Championships in 2000 against the Indiana Pacers. After Kobe and Vanessa were married in April 2001, Kobe and the Lakers won the championship against the Phildelphia 76ers; and again in 2002 against the New Jersey Nets (this came to be known as a "Three-peat"). At 23, Kobe was the youngest player to win three chanpionships. He also became known as a "clutch player."

Racking up monster stats in almost all categories (and scoring 48 points in a playoff game with the Sacremento Kings) began to effect the working relationship of Kobe and Shaq. In Bryant's seventh season, the guy was on fire (he had become father to his first child, daughter Natalia in January): double doubles, 3-point records, 30 points per game, a run of nine consecutive 40-point games —  amazing. But the Lakers lost the Western Conference to those darn San Antonio Spurs.

In his eighth season, Kobe had been accused of sexual assault in Colorado; he spent much time attending court dates and so on before the charges were dropped because his accuser refused to testify. Bryant appologized for the incident. Many of his product endorsements dropped him. With Jackson gone and O'Neal going to the Miami Heat, Kobe signed a seven-year contract at $19.5 Million a year.

In Kobe's ninth season (2004-2005), he was the league's second-leading scorer (27.6 points per), but he wasn't supported well by the rest of the Lakers team. In his tenth (2005-2006), Phil Jackson returned as coach. In December 2005, Bryant scored 62 points in three quarters against the Dallas Mavericks. He scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors. The Lakers lost the Playoffs to the Phoenix Suns that season. Bryant's second daughter Gianna was born in May 2006.

Kobe's 11th season was marked by his being called out for rough play. Bryant had a streak of four consecutive 50-point games. The Lakers were again bounced from the Playoffs by those darn Phoenix Suns! In his 12th season, Kobe spent most of the season playing with a tear in the pinkie of his shooting hand. He refused to have it operated on mid-season. Despite battling their way through to the Finals, the Lakers lost to those darn Boston Celtics. Kobe played for the U.S. Team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. The team won the Gold Medal.

Kobe began his 13th season (2008-2009), by not having his pinkie operated on. This did not prevent the Lakers from becoming a scoring powerhouse, demolishing the Playoff competition, beating the Orlando Magic for the Title. Kobe had gone to the All-Star Game (again) and won his fourth championship as well as his first NBA Finals MVP Award.

In season 14, Kobe wowed with numerous three-point buzzer-beaters. He became the youngest player to reach 25,000 points, and he became the Lakers' all-time lead scorer. Despite an injury to his index finger and an ankle injury, Kobe signed a three-year contract for $29 Million a year. Finding themselves in the Finals with the Boston Celtics and with them down by 13 points in the fourth quarter tied 3 games each, Kobe exploded in the clutch with 10 points and 15 rebounds. He had won his second NBA Finals MPV Award and his fifth Championship ring.

In his 15th season, the Lakers suddenly began to get frisky with the Boston Celtics, including a number of come-from-behind nail-biters. In December 2011, Vanessa filed for divorce. Having made a commercial for Nike with Director Robert Rodriguez and Bruce Willis, Bryant and Co. held a midnight screening of the The Black Mamba at the Chinese Theatre. Before the showing, his footprints were taken before the screen. The resulting block was retianed by the theatre. In April 2011, Bryant was fined $100,000 for slurring a referee. His stunned teammates were vocal in dennouncing Kobe's actions. Bryant paid the fine and apologized. They were swept by the Dallas Mavericks in the postseason.

In season 16, Kobe scored another impressive string of 40-plus point games. He became the all-time scoring leader for the All-Star Games, but was concussed and broke his nose in a hard foul with Dwyane Wade. He missed many games after that, and while the Lakers were in the playoffs, they got knocked out by Oklahoma City. Kobe won another Gold Medal playing for the U.S. Men's Basketball Team at the Olympics in London, England.

Kobe's 17th season had the Lakers starting out poorly, so, they fired coach Brown and hired Mike D'Antoni. Things improved with Kobe stringing together more 30+ point games. With injuries on the team, Kobe would be playing all 48 minutes. In January 2013, Kobe and Vanessa announced that their divorce was going to be called off. In April 2013, he became the first player in history to have 47 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals in one game. Two days later, Kobe tore his Achilles tendon against the Golden State Warriors. He underwent surgery, and was not able to play, but encourged the team every day from the bench. The Lakers were eliminated from the Playoffs in the first round by those darn San Antonio Sprurs.

Now making $32 Million a year on a two-year contract, Kobe was the most highly-paid player in the league. Although the figures were controversial, Kobe was worth it. Kobe came late to his 18th season, returning to play in December. Six games later, he suffered a lateral tibial plateau fracture in his left knee, which sidelined him for six weeks. The Lakers held Bryant out for the rest of the season, and the team ended up with the worst record in the Western Conference.

Allowed to play at the start of his 19th season under coach Byron Scott, at 36, Bryant became the oldest player to have a triple double (30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists). He also became the top scorer with 32,292. Coach Scott saw that after a game where Kobe had nine turnovers, he was going to have to lighten Kobe's workload. In January 2015, he tore his left shoulder rotator cuff. Surgery put him out of commission for the rest of the season. The Lakers had their worst record for the season ever.

Just prior to the start of his 20th season (he broke the record for seasons with the same team), Bryant injured his calf in an exhibition game. Well enough at the start of the season, Kobe had some of the worst shooting of his career. By November 2015, he decided to retire. His last game was a win against the Utah Jazz on April 13, 2016. Bryant said goodbye to fans with his poem "Dear Basketball." Bryant's production company turned the poem into an animated short Dear Basketball, for which Bryant recieived the Oscar for Best Animated Short.

In December, Kobe and Vanessa had their third daughter, while their fourth was born in June 2019. Kobe, his duaghter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash, which stunned the entire world.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Robert Duvall Forecourt block. Executed by unknown, Saturday, February 19, 2011. 45 x 34 inches.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Kobe Bryant Forecourt ceremony, Saturday, February 19, 2011. Kobe looks pretty pleased.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Kobe Bryant Forecourt ceremony, Saturday, February 19, 2011. Kobe looks for assurance from Mystery Mason #3 and Mystery Mason #2.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Kobe Bryant Forecourt ceremony, Saturday, February 19, 2011. The deed done, Kobe poses with wife Vanessa and their two daughters, Natalia and Gianna.
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