By Veronica An
In 2015, Kobe Bryant announced his retirement via a poem in the Player’s Tribune. Bryant played 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers and was the youngest player in league history (at age 34) to reach 30,000 career points. He is the third highest-scoring NBA player of all time and has five NBA titles, two Finals MVP Awards and two Olympic gold medals with Team USA. Bryant declared for the 1996 draft after he finished high school and earned recognition by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Competition. He was the highest scorer in Lakers team history and was chosen to start the All-Star Game for a record 18 consecutive appearances. Bryant is known for his fall-away jump shot and fiercely competitive nature which he refers to as the “mamba mentality.” He is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history and has career averages of 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. After retiring from the NBA, Kobe founded Kobe Inc. to invest in the sports industry and partnered with Jeff Stibel to launch Bryant-Stibel, a venture capital firm.