The Mamba's career is one that could never be duplicated. However, he's made great inspiration for new comers in the league, sports enthusiasts and industry fans. Kobe Bryant's success started from being the youngest draft pick for the Los Angeles Lakers and carried into winning his first Academy Award for his work in the animated film, Dear Basketball.
Our deepest condolences go out to the Bryant family and the rest of the families affected by Sunday's helicopter crash. In honor of Kobe's very unexpected passing, we've compiled a list of some of his most iconic moments.
Kobe Bryant rang in 31 points in the 2002 All-Star Game where he won his first MVP trophy.
The December 2012 game against the New Orleans Hornets scored Kobe his title as the youngest player to score 30,000 career points surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (31,419). He joined the ranks of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Michael Jordan (32,292).
Kobe scored a miraculous 81 points in a 2006 game against the Toronto Raptors, bringing the west coast team a 122-104 win.
The Mamba defines "unbothered" and "literally unflinching" by Matt Barnes' provocation.
This marks the begin of Kobe's three straight NBA championship wins. The Laker led the team with Shaquille O'Neal in a 120-118 win against the Indiana Pacers. Bryant's 8 points in overtime greatly contributed to the total 28 game points.
The 18-year-old future phenom entered the 1997 NBA All-Star Weekend and left defeating Michael Finley and Chris Carr in the Slam Dunk Contest and also scored 31 points in the Rookie Challenge Game.
Michael Jordan's NBA All-time scoring record was broken in the Lakers' game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Kobe reached 32,482 career points after hitting a free throw in the second quarter.
Kobe proves himself worthy of playing against the original G.O.A.T., Michael Jordan in the 1998 All-Star game.
Kobe Bryant received a number of accolades and recognition for Dear Basketball but it was the retired athlete's Oscar win that marked his cinematic career.
Even though it was his last game as a professional player with the NBA, Kobe Bryant was sure to show out scoring 60 points, reminding us all of the "Mamba Mentality."
Kobe jumps over a speeding Aston Martin. What more needs to be said?
Bryant moves on to ring number five after defeating the Celtics. Though the championship title was a major triumph for the team, Kobe found it more important that it was the first time LA won Game 7 against Boston in the Finals.
A torn achilles was the least of Kobe's worries in this game against the Warriors. The Mamba tied up against the team's rival who was leading by 3 points in a 107-104 quarter. Post-injury, Bryant racked in 34 points for his team and a standing ovation from a cheering crowd.