‘A Fantastic Legacy’: Inside the Life and Career of Kobe Bryant, From Those in the Media Who Knew Him Best

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP

The narrative surrounding Kobe Bryant has fluctuated since the future NBA Hall of Famer entered the spotlight as a teenager. 

A high school phenom turned NBA star that won three-straight championships had his reputation tarnished amidst rape allegations in 2003. His identity shifted toward a self-dubbed nickname, “The Black Mamba,” a quiet, sometimes self-centered generational basketball talent that would go on to win more titles and more accolades. By 2010, when he helped the Lakers win their fifth NBA championship in 11 years, Bryant had a legion of fans cheering his every move on the court. Retirement in 2016 drove him to become a renowned ambassador for both the women’s and men’s games, something
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