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Top 24 Things You Didn't Know About Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is undeniably one of the most dedicated, successful, and greatest basketball players to ever grace the NBA hardwood. He has achieved what many players only dream of doing, and his list of accolades could fill an entire book. This success did not come easy for Bryant, like I said before, his hard work and dedication to the sport of basketball is what made him a legend, that is looked up to by millions of people around the world.

Kobe admits that the success he has gained has come with many sacrifices. Thousands of hours were spent practicing dribbling, shooting, and playing defense so he could become a great player in the league like his father was. Refusing to play in his father's shadow, it is without a doubt that we can say Kobe has surpassed his father in NBA greatness. His intense work ethic and his strive to win has brought him many wins and accomplishments, but it has also isolated him from his teammates, and many people in the business of basketball. He admits that he has almost no friends in the league, but he doesn't care. Even though not personally liked by all, he definitely is respected by the entire NBA.

Considering Kobe's illustrious NBA career has sadly come to an end, it's time to share some things you may have not known about this icon. The following article will compile 24 things about Kobe that some people are unaware of. Even though beloved by so many, there is still a lot about Kobe that people don't know. There are a lot of backstories in this article that most people would find interesting about Kobe "Bean" Bryant. Unless you are the biggest Kobe fan to ever live, I guarantee you learn something about "The Black Mamba" in this article.

It is now time to say goodbye to a legend of the game. He sure gave us a fitting farewell, as his 60 point performance in his finale was one final gift from a legend.

Here are 24 things you didn't know about Kobe Bryant.

24 He's Named After A Japanese Steakhouse In Philadelphia

via groupon.com

23 His Signature Shoes Are Designed After Soccer Cleats

via ebay.com

Kobe grew up in Italy, which means he had a bit of a background playing soccer. He even designed his shoes after soccer cleats, which is easy to see in a side-by-side comparison. Most basketball shoes are high tops, but Kobe went for the low cut shoes, just like a soccer player would wear. Now low cut ball shoes are the norm, so Kobe blazed the trail in that department.

22 Chews On His Jersey For A Reason

via usatoday.com

We have all seen Kobe chew on his jersey. It's a Kobe thing, like when Michael Jordan plays with his tongue out. Most people don't understand why Kobe is always chewing on his own clothes. Well, there is no big profound mystery as to why his jersey is always in his mouth, it's just he is trying to wet his mouth during games.

21 He Was A Soccer Goalie

via english.sina.com

20 He Was The First Guard Taken Out Of High School

via touchmba.com

19 His New York Streetball Nickname is "Three Rings"

via triangleoffense.com

18 Origin Of His Middle Name

via reddit.com

17 Destiny's Child Cameo

via jockington.com

16 Kobe Wore Number 33 For Most of High School

via pinterest.com

15 He Took Brandy To Prom

via espn.go.com

14 The Shadow Defender

via rollingstone.com

13 Kobe Beat His Father At Age 16

via justinsportsnews.wordpress.com

12 Kobe Speaks Fluent Italian

via reddit.com

11 Bruce Lee Is Kobe's Biggest Basketball Motivator

via www.orangecountymartialarts.info

10 He's A Big AC Milan Fan

via pinterest.com

9 His Rap Battles While In The League

via grantland.com

When both players were at the Hilton, Kobe told Alvin Williams he was going to his room to rap. Williams made a bad mistake when he said, "you can't rap" to Bryant. Kobe turned around and rapped to Williams for 15 minutes until Williams apparently just walked away without rapping back. The scene was reminiscent of the movie 8 Mile, with Kobe playing the role of B Rabbit.

8 Kobe's Favorite Player Was Mike D'Antoni 

via nbaarena.com

While Kobe definitely looked up to Michael Jordan, there was another player who captured his imagination.

7 The Youngest Player Drafted At The Time

via espn.go.com

Kobe really grew up in front of millions of people when he entered the league at 18 years, two months, and 11 days in 1996. In his first game was against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he went 0-1 from the field, had one blocked shot and managed to only get one rebound. Talk about a big welcome to the NBA.

6 Kobe Once Showed Up Seven Hours Early To A Team USA Practice

via sports.yahoo.com

5 Kobe Had His Own Video Game Franchise

via nintendo.wikia.com

4 There Is A Reason Behind Number Eight

via thescore.com

Some people don't know why Kobe originally went with the no.8 for the Lakers. During his time as a prospect for the NBA, he went to a Nike ABCD camp, where he was given the number 143. Adding up his camp number is how he chose number eight for his jersey,. Mike D'Antoni was also one of his favorite players growing up, and he also wore the no.8, so that was another deciding factor that sealed the deal.

3 He's Very Upfront About His Top Five

via pinterest.com

2 Holds The Record For Most Consecutive All-Star Games

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

1 Kobe's College Of Choice Would Have Been...

via nba.com

UNC.

We would have loved to see Kobe play college ball. How much fun would those games have been? Contrary to the urban legend that Kobe was Duke bound, Kobe has stated that he would have actually liked to have played for the University of North Carolina, joining up with Vince Carter and Antwan Jamison. Could you imagine that? That would have made for one of the greatest college basketball teams of all time!

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Top 24 Things You Didn't Know About Kobe Bryant