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Sports influence many people all over the world, whether they play sports, watch sports, or even both. People can be influenced by professional athletes as well. These same athletes may have done bad things in their professional career and/or personal life, but the fans still look up to them. One prime example of an athlete like this is Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant, professional basketball player. He is well known for his actions on and off the court. Although Kobe may have not done some great things, he is still a well-respected and admirable basketball player.
Now who is Kobe Bryant? Well Kobe was born on August 23, 1978 in Philadelphia, PA. He is originally from Lower Merion, PA. At one point in Kobe’s life, he lived with his older sisters, Shaya and Sharia in Italy. Kobe Bryant nicknamed himself “Black Mamba” after he watched the movie, Kill Bill. He originally got drafted in the 1996 NBA Draft to the Charlotte Hornets (now known as the New Orleans Pelicans) and then got traded on Draft Day to the Los Angeles Lakers. He has been playing for this organization for his whole professional career, which is 18 years. He went to the NBA (National Basketball Association) straight out of high school. “In his second season as guard, with the Lakers, Bryant was voted a starter for the 1998 All-Star Game, becoming at 19 the youngest All-Star in NBA History” (Biography). According to Biography, “Kobe Bryant is an NBA athlete who’s one of the leading players in career points, having earned multiple championship rings. He has also won two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. basketball team.” Kobe has won a total of 5 NBA championships. “Kobe Bryant is the son of former NBA player Joe “Jellybean” Bryant” (Biography). In high school, Kobe lead his high school team to the state championships four years in a row. Since his goal was being able to play in the NBA, he started to work out with the Philadelphia 76ers. All the hard work that Kobe Bryant was and still is putting in has been paying off and that may be one reason that fans look up to him.
Kobe Bryant is known to be one of the hardest working players to have ever played in the NBA. Nine years ago (January 22, 2006), Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in one game playing against the Toronto Raptors. This accomplishment put Kobe’s points scored in a game to be the second highest points scored in a game behind famous player Wilt Chamberlin with 100 points. Kobe also knows what it takes to be an NBA champion with him having five championship rings under his belt. In “Champion of the World” by famous poet Maya Angelou, she states “he was the strongest man in the world,” referring to the famous boxer Joe Louis (394). This quote relates to Kobe Bryant in that he is considered to be one of the greatest scorers of all time, with a total of 32,484 career points, which makes him third on the scoring list. He most recently passed Michael Jordan on that list. With hard work and dedication, people can achieve anything they want in life. Another thing that makes Kobe Bryant such an inspiring player is that he plays through injury. He had a messed finger that little to no cartilage left one season and even competed in the Olympics that year too. Although people admire and respect Kobe Bryant as a player, he has done some things that have put him in a negative light.
In the year 2004, Kobe Bryant was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Colorado. According to CBS News. “The night after being accused of rape, NBA star Kobe Bryant told sheriff’s investigators that the sex with his accuser was consensual-and admitted to similar encounters with another woman who he said could testify about his sexual tendencies.” Since this event occurred, every time the Los Angeles Lakers play the Denver Nuggets in Denver, the fans boo Kobe because of the act he committed. Even though what Kobe did was wrong, his wife Vanessa Bryant stood by his side through the whole ordeal. In the end, Kobe Bryant said admitted to adultery, but not rape. The whole case against him was then dismissed too. Professor Anguiano stated that “a famous soccer player playing in the World Cup one year accidentally kicked a goal into the wrong goal and as soon as he got into the airport, he was shot.” This player was named Andrés Saldarriaga and it occurred after the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the 1994 Olympics. Kobe Bryant should be blessed that no one has shot him after his sexual assault scandal, but what he did was still wrong because he is a married man. He should have never engaged in any sexual activities in the first place. These actions may have lost respect from some his fans, but there are still fans that can overlook what he did.
Sports have a great impact on many people in the world. Athletes have an even greater impact on their fans and all those that look up to them as role models. Athletes can also be inspirations to fans all over the world. These athletes may have made mistakes in their life too. Kobe Bryant is a prime example of this. He is one of the greatest NBA players of all time, but he has also made his fair share of mistakes. Professional athletes inspire their fans, but they are also human and make mistakes like everyone else.
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