Kobe Bryant was an American professional basketball player. He was an 18X NBA All-Star, 5X NBA Champion, and 2X NBA Finals champion. Unfortunately, Kobe died on January 26, 2020, at the age of 41 in a tragic helicopter crash. It has been a few months since his death, but during his athletic days, he was an inspiration to many and still is.
Early Life of Kobe Bryant
He took birth on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father, Joe Bryant, was also a player for the Philadelphia 76ers. At the age of six, Kobe and his family moved to Italy, where he continued to play in the European league. During his time in Italy, he also learned to speak Italian fluently.
As a pre-teen, Kobe would go to the US to participate in basketball summer leagues. When Kobe’s father retired from playing, they all moved back to Philadelphia, where he attended Lower Merion High School. Bryant was brilliant at basketball and excelled throughout his school life. He led his team to their first State Championship in 53 years.
He then managed to get Gatorade’s Men’s National Basketball player of the year and the USA Today’s All USA first-team player. Not only that, but his SAT score was also high, which meant that he could get into any college with a scholarship. However, he opted to go straight to the Pros. He became the youngest player in history to be drafted into the NBA.
When Kobe was 17, he was taken in by the Hornets, but he was then sent to the Lakers due to a prearranged deal. His dream was to play for the Lakers. His first contract was worth $3.5 million.
Bryant met the then 17-year-old Vanessa Laine in November of 1999. They met while she was working as a background dancer in a music video. He happened to be in the studio at the same time for his debut musical album. They got engaged after six months of their first meeting, and she was still a senior in high school. In 2001 they got married in Dana Point, California. It was reported that Bryant’s parents disapproved of their relationship, and hence they didn’t attend their wedding.
Kobe and Vanessa welcomed their first child Natalia Diamanté Bryant, on January 19, 2003. Then in 2006, they welcomed their second child Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant. Then they had two more daughters, and they were named Bianka and Capri.
Kobe Bryant’s Professional Life
Kobe made a $3.5 million deal in his first contract, and from thereon, he continued to make around $328 million in his salary alone with the Los Angeles Lakers. His notable contracts include a three year 90 million dollar extension signed in 2010. In 2013 he signed a two-year contract worth $48.5 million.
He earned approximately around $350 million from endorsements. His notable endorsements include Nike, Adidas, Sprite, McDonald’s, Turkish Airlines, Lenovo, Hublot, and Panini. His popularity in China helped him gain his Chinese-specific endorsement deal with companies like Alibaba, Sina.com, and Mercedes Benz.
He was signed to Adidas for the first few years of his career. He made around $48 million over six years. (check: Kevin Hart Movies.)
Kobe Bryant purchased a 10% equity stake in sports drinks BodyArmour for $6 million. Eventually, the company generated $400 million in 2018. Then Coca Cola purchased a stake from BodyArmour that prized the company as a whole at $2 billion, which resulted in Bryant earning around $200 million on paper before taxes.
Kobe also won two gold medals at the Summer Olympics. In 2018, Bryant won an Academy Award for Best Animated short film. In August 2016, Kobe and his business partner Jeff Stibel launched a company called Bryant-Stibel with a hundred million dollar funding. The company was launched to invest in technology, media, and data companies.
Kobe Bryant Net Worth
By now, you must have understood that Kobe had an excellent earning. According to the sources at the time of his death, Kobe’s net worth was around $600 million. (check: Bernie Sanders Net Worth.)
Kobe Bryant’s death
On January 26, 2020, Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, and seven others took off in a helicopter owned by Bryant from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. Unfortunately, the helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, at around 9:47 am and caught fire. None of the passengers survived, including Kobe and his daughter Gianna.