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Kobe Bean Bryant born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1978 to parents' Joe Bryant, Pam Bryant. The Bryant's lived in Rieti, Italy and different countries while his father Joe was a professional basketball player. In that time Kobe was learning from this experience how to speak and communicate in different languages with the people of those nations.

Kobe probably did not know that he was honing his language skills for what was coming in his path in the future. Kobe didn’t know that when he was drafted and traded to the Los Angeles Lakers to a city that is diverse as it is large, that those language skills would benefit him more than 23 years of his life.

People were amazed when he was speaking their language to them fluently. That endeared Kobe to them, because they believe he was one of them and not just some other basketball player or celebrity he was different. Kobe played basketball at Lower Merion High School honing his basketball skills, where he won the state championship in 1996.

Kobe Bryant a brash young man from Philadelphia, believe that his talents were not for college basketball, because he believe that his talent were for something higher and that was in the NBA. Kobe made the decision to forgo a college basketball career and officially entered the NBA draft in 1996. Kobe was 17 years old at the time of this decision.

When the NBA draft came, Jerry West was General Manager of the Los Angeles Lakers when this draft began. When he worked Kobe out for a possible draft pick, he saw something different in the young Bryant, that impressed him, that he gave upped an beloved player on the Lakers roster Divac, Vlade.

People believed in Jerry West decision making, but some thought he made a bad decision on this one, because no one heard of Kobe Bryant, a young brash player straight out of high school. 1996 NBA draft was loaded with potential or maybe future stars;

  • Allen Iverson (1)
  • Marcus Camby (2)
  • Shafer Abdur-Rahim (3)
  • Stephon Marbury (4)
  • Ray Allen (5)
  • Antoine Walker (6)
  • Lorenzen Wright (7)
  • Kerry Kittles (8)
  • Samaki Walder (9)
  • Erick Dampier (10)
  • Todd Fuller (11)
  • Vitaly Potapenko (12)
  • Kobe Bryant (13) Charlotte Hornets (traded to L.A. Lakers)
  • Peja Stojakovic (14)
  • Steve Nash (15)
  • Tony Delk (16)
  • Jermaine O'Neal (17)
  • John Wallace (18)
  • Walter McCarty (19)
  • Zydrunas IIgauska (20)
  • Dontae Jones (21)
  • Efthimois Rentzias (22)
  • Derek Fisher (23)

The Lakers were looking for some magic to happen, because the last time they were in the NBA championship Finals was in the 1991 losing to the Chicago Bulls def. Los Angeles Lakers 4-1

In 1996 the Lakers were on the prowl for another big name player and the collective bargaining agreement, happen and somehow allowed Shaquille O'Neal to leave the Orlando Magic for greener pasture to Los Angeles Lakers as his new team.

The roster was a mix mash of players, with Shaquille, Kobe (R) rookie leading the way and others. The Lakers finish that year in 2nd behind the Seattle Supersonics in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles Lakers were 4th overall in the Western Division.

The 1996-97 season Kobe played sporadically for the most part of the season, because of the veteran players Lakers had on their roster. They were fitting him in when they could, to see what the rookie had. Kobe's draft status made him a must see, because the organization had traded their beloved center Divac Vlade, and the fans wanted to see what he could do on the court.

In Kobe's mind his thinking was that I won a championship in high school with this intense work ethic, so it's got to translate there in the NBA, because these guys play at the highest level. But as you find out in any culture change, there is going to be push back, because you are the new kid on the block.

The veterans are telling you to wait your turn young fellow. You made it to the NBA just relax and have fun and don't work so hard. Enjoy the ride of being a NBA player. But that is not in the Pied Piper's DNA to enjoy the ride. Kobe wants to be the best of all time and just not another NBA player. Everything Kobe was doing he always was pushing it to the limits, because you may not get back there again.

For 4 years, the Los Angeles Lakers were in the playoffs, but kept coming up short, but Kobe was showing some of the work ethic, that the fans were becoming accustomed to, but some of his teammates did not understand, because he wanted to be a champion and best player in the league.

Kobe's work ethic, had him practicing after games, and practicing more after practice and his teammate, just could not under, because they believe that they put in their time at practice and games and did not have to give another more. But not the Pied Piper, he believed that you have more to give if this is your profession. Kobe's like what are you playing basketball for if you are not trying to be the best. Go and do something else, don't waste his time.

Kobe the Piped Piper was singing and no one on the team could hear or they heard and just did not want to understand, what he was singing.

Losing to Utah in the Semifinals 1996 Losing to Utah in the Conference finals 1997 Losing to the San Antonio Spurs Conference finals 1998 Losing to the San Antonio Spurs Conference finals 1999 Los Angeles Lakers won the Conference Finals 2000.

The Lakers finally broke through in 2000 and won the Western Conference Championship and went on to win the NBA Finals three years in a row. Five years later the Los Angeles Lakers won two more NBA Championships.

2000 NBA Finals Champions
2001 NBA Finals Champions
2002 NBA Finals Champions

2009 NBA Finals Champions
2010 NBA Finals Champions

Work Ethics
Kobe was always, poking and prodding the older players to work harder. That was not their culture to work harder, because they believed that, you are already in the NBA, why should they work any harder, they already made it. Kobe's mentality was that making it to the NBA was one goal achieved, but he wanted more, such as championships; he wanted to the best that ever play the game. This was something the older players could not understand at the time, when they were teammates with Kobe, they thought he was crazy.

Kobe, believe that not only basketball can be conquered; he believed that you can do the same thing in business, to do more than the next and be super successful. In his life, he would put everything into everything he was doing. That's the mamba mentality, giving more of himself for his family, friends and business associates.

The Kobe the Pied Piper was singing for 23 years here in Los Angeles, and we wish there could have be more years to come, but it was not so. To see so many people he has touched in some way, expressing their gratitude and love for him is amazing and heartbreaking to say the least.

The love he has received from so many people, I believe, he did not know how many people did hear him sing from around the world, and it is wonderful.

Rest in peace Kobe the Pied Piper.

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