Incredible Kobe Bryant Throwback Photos that Highlight the Legendary Laker's 20-Year Career

1of14

Bryant shook hands with then-NBA Commissioner David Stern (who died on Jan. 1, 2020) after being selected in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft on June 26, 1996, at Madison Square Garden in N.Y.C.

1of 14

2of14

After earning his No. 8 Lakers number, Bryant posed with a basketball outside the Forum in Inglewood, California, in 1997.

2of 14

3of14

Bryant and longtime teammate Shaquille O’Neal stopped for a snap during the national anthem before a game back in the ’90s.

3of 14

4of14

The smiling Laker accepted his trophy for winning the 1997 Nestle Crunch Slam Dunk Contest in Cleveland.

4of 14

5of14

Bryant had many famous fans during his two-decade career, including golf icon Tiger Woods.

5of 14

6of14

The lifelong Laker also snagged a photo with another legendary athlete and fan, Muhammad Ali.

6of 14

7of14

The father of four went head-to-head against the NBA’s best players, including Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers.

7of 14

8of14

Another basketball foe included Michael Jordan, though off the court, the Bulls legend was a mentor of sorts to the up-and-comer.

8of 14

9of14

Bryant was a part of the 1998 Western Conference All-Star team, along with Jason Kidd, Mitch Richmond, David Robinson, Kevin Garnett, Vin Baker, Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel, Gary Payton, Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone and Tim Duncan.

9of 14

10of14

The New York Knicks’ Patrick Ewing was no match for Bryant in this photo taken back in 2000 at Madison Square Garden in N.Y.C.

10of 14

11of14

Bryant and O’Neal with another Lakers legend, Magic Johnson, after they won the 2000 NBA Championship against the Indiana Pacers at the Staples Center in L.A.

11of 14

12of14

No. 8 went for the dunk during 2002’s game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Sacramento Kings.

12of 14

13of14

The five-time NBA champion celebrated his 2002 NBA finals win against the New Jersey Nets.

13of 14

14of14

The historic player proudly posed with his family after both of his No. 8 and No. 24 Los Angeles Lakers jerseys were retired at the Staples Center in L.A. on Dec. 18, 2017.

After welcoming his fourth child, daughter Capri, with his wife Vanessa in the summer of 2019, Bryant tragically lost his life on Jan. 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, PEOPLE confirmed. He was 41.

14of 14

Source: Read Full Article