Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant is widely considered one of the best players in NBA history. As if the five titles with the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t impressive enough, Kobe has shattered records and reached milestones that will likely stand the test of time.
On Tuesday, Kobe took to Twitter to thank the Lakers organization for taking a chance on him on this day 18 years ago:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) July 1, 2014
During the 1996 NBA draft, the Charlotte Hornets drafted a 17-year-old with the 13th overall pick. Kobe wasn’t a Hornet for long with Charlotte trading the high schooler to the Lakers in exchange for veteran center Vlade Divac.
As a result of the trade, Divac stayed in Charlotte for two years before signing with the Sacramento Kings as a free agent in 1999. Kobe went on to win three straight titles playing alongside Shaquille O’Neal in Los Angeles in his fourth season with the Lakers.
Once Kobe officially decides to call it a career, which might be only two years from now, the superstar will go down as arguably the best player in the franchise history. There’s no doubt Kobe’s number will be retired at the Staples Center with a statue outside soon to follow.
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