Joseph Washington Bryant (born October 19, 1954), nicknamed "Jellybean," is a former professional basketball player and coach from the United States. He played at the small forward position for his only National Basketball Association (NBA) team, the Los Angeles Lakers. He was also an assistant coach for the Lakers during their 2000 NBA championship season.
He died of cancer on February 26, 2020 at the age of 56.
As a youth, he lived in South Central Los Angeles, where he first started playing basketball. His father brought him to games held at Madison Square Garden when he was just 8 years old. It was there that he met New York Knicks star Walt Frazier who would later become one of his coaches in the NBA.
He attended Manchaca High School in Austin, Texas, where he led the team to its first undefeated regular season ever. After graduating in 1972, he went on to play college basketball for two seasons before turning pro.
During his time at Louisville, he learned how to shoot free throws under the guidance of head coach Denny Crum. This skill would come in handy when he reached the NBA, where he was considered one of the best foul shooters of all time.
Los Angeles Sparks Joseph Washington "Jellybean" Bryant (born October 19, 1954) is a retired American basketball player, current coach, and the father of former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. From August 22, 2005, to April 4, 2007, Bryant was the head coach of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. Before becoming an NBA coach, he had several years of experience in the league as a player.
He played college ball at Providence College from 1973 to 1977, helping the Friars win the 1974 National Championship. He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the third overall pick in the 1977 NBA draft but instead signed with the New York Knicks. With the Knicks, he won the 1980 NBA championship. After one season with the Chicago Bulls, he returned home to play for the Lakers, with whom he won five more championships - 1992, 1993, 1996, 2000, and 2002. His son Kobe also became an All-Star player for the Lakers, winning three more titles - 2009, 2010, and 2011.
After retirement, he went on to become one of the best coaches in NBA history, leading the Lakers to six more victories during his tenure as head coach. He was fired after being involved in a brawl with officials during a game vs. Sacramento Kings on January 26, 2008. The next day, the Lakers announced that former Chicago Bull Mike D'Antoni had been hired as their new head coach.
Kobe Bean Bryant was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 23, 1978. Bryant, named after a Japanese city, is the son of former NBA player Joe "Jellybean" Bryant. After his NBA career ended in 1984, the older Bryant relocated the family to Italy, where he played in the Italian League. Growing up in Italy, I was surrounded by two sporty elder sisters. My parents divorced when I was three, and since my father didn't have much time for us, my mother had to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet.
Like most American children, I loved basketball and spent a lot of time playing it. In addition to the Italian league, where he was recruited by several European teams, Kobe attended school in Europe too. He returned to America when he was 15 years old and started attending Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. There he became one of the top players in the nation while developing relationships with many of the best college coaches in the country. He finally decided to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he could play ball under Dean Smith. The Tar Heels won two national championships during Bryant's tenure.
After graduating in 2000 with a degree in kinesiology, Bryant turned pro right away. He was the number-one pick in the 2001 NBA draft while wearing number 24, which had been retired in honor of Ralph Sampson (who had recently died).
Bryant has won five NBA titles so far and is still playing today.
Bryant's family was Catholic, and he was raised in that religion. However, he later said he did not believe in God.
Kobe Bryant was born on January 4th, 1977, in Philadelphia. His mother, Vanessa, was a high school track and field star who competed for Louisiana State University before marrying basketball player Joe Bryant. His father had several jobs including truck driver and security guard, but was most often seen playing basketball in front of an Atlanta-area mall with his brothers.
Kobe has two siblings: a brother, Joseph, and a sister, Gloria. The family moved to Italy when Kobe was three years old so his father could play professional basketball. They returned to America when Kobe was five years old.
In 1994, when Kobe was about to enter high school, his father died of a heart attack at age 36. After his death, Vanessa Bryant decided to rename her son after one of her husband's teammates, Kobe Anderson. She also told reporters she wanted her son to be like basketball player Michael Jordan.
When Kobe started playing varsity basketball in high school, he made headlines by scoring 100 points in a game.
Kobe Bean Bryant (/'koUbi:/KOH-bee; August 23, 1978–January 26, 2020) was a professional basketball player from the United States. He was a shooting guard with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association for his entire 20-year career (NBA).
Bryant made an immediate impact when he arrived in the NBA, becoming just the second rookie in league history to score 1000 points after only 16 games. He also set the record for most points by a Lakers rookie while playing against the Atlanta Hawks on November 1, 1996. The record has since been broken by LeBron James and it is possible that James may break it again this season.
As a Laker, Bryant won five championships, including four straight from 2000 to 2003, and was named MVP of all five seasons. He is one of just three players in NBA history to score 100 or more points in each game of a championship series (the others are Jerry West and Charles Barkley).
On January 26, 2020, Bryant was involved in a multiple vehicle collision near his home in Calabasas, California. He was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. His death was later confirmed by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner's Office.
Prior to joining the Lakers, Bryant played two seasons at PRP College Prep in Louisville, Kentucky.