Bryant scored 31 points and despite his efforts the Lakers suffered an away loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers 93-87. LeBron James helped lead the Cavaliers to victory by scoring 37 points.
Bryant’s career started in the first round of the 1996 draft when he was chosen by the Charlotte Hornets. Despite Duke’s desire to recruit him, he became the first guard to be drafted directly out of high school. After some exchanging he went to the Lakers where he would be joined by Shaquille O’Neal by the end of the summer. Former Bulls coach, Phil Jackson was hired by the Lakers shortly before the 1999-00 season when the team started their dynasty. The Lakers still have him on their payroll and he would be on the court if he were not recovering from a torn meniscus in his right knee. Currently the future hall of famer has five championship rings.
Bryant has made over 45 percent of his shots. His success with the Lakers lead to him being chosen to represent team USA in the Olympics in the 2008 Beijing games as well as the 2012 games in London. He was offered a spot on the 2004 team for the games in Athens but withdrew from the team.
Related links: http://espn.go.com/nba/player/bio/_/id/110/kobe-bryant (ESPN biography)
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