By Brandon Zhu
On this day in 1996, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant became the then youngest player to make his NBA debut (18 years, 2 months, 11 days) in a 91-85 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Great Western Forum. One of the greatest players to ever set foot on the court, Bryant backed up his competitive nature with his phenomenal work ethic and talent for the game. Bryant spent his entire 20 season career with the Los Angeles Lakers. During that time, he helped lead the Lakers to five NBA championships. In the 2009 NBA Finals, Bryant averaged 32.4 points, 7.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks. Bryant earned NBA Finals MVP and helped the Lakers defeat the Orlando Magic 4-1. In 2010, the Lakers repeated as champions and Bryant was again the Finals MVP. It was the first time the Lakers defeated their rival Celtics in a Game 7 in the NBA Finals. Bryant said that this was the most satisfying of all of his five championships. Bryant’s other accolades include NBA MVP (2008), 15x All-NBA Team selections, 12x NBA All-Defensive Team selections, 2x NBA scoring champion, and 18x NBA All-Star. Bryant’s no.8 and 24 jerseys were retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.