The Dallas Mavericks are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. The Mavericks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the American Airlines Center, which it shares with the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars. As of the 2017 season, the Mavericks have sold out 704 consecutive games since December 15, 2001, the longest running sellout streak in North American major league sports. Since their inaugural 1980–81 season, the Mavericks have won three division titles, two conference championships, one NBA championship. In 1978, Californian businessman Garn Eckardt met Dallas lawyer Doug Adkins, mentioned he was trying to raise capital to move an NBA team to the city. Asking for a possible partner, Adkins recommended him one of his clients, Home Interiors and Gifts owner Don Carter. Negotiations with Eckardt fell through, but Carter remained interested in the enterprise as a gift to his wife Linda, who played basketball while at Duncanville High School.
At the same time, Buffalo Braves president and general manager Norm Sonju developed an interest in bringing the NBA to Dallas as he studied possible new locations for the ailing franchise. While the Braves went to California as the San Diego Clippers, Sonju returned to Texas, was introduced to Carter by mayor Robert Folsom, one of the owners and team president of the last professional basketball team in the city, the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association, which moved to San Antonio in 1973 to become the San Antonio Spurs. Sonju and Carter tried purchasing both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Kansas City Kings, but disagreement on relocation stalled the negotiations, leading them to instead aim for an expansion team; the league was reluctant to expand to Dallas, given Texas had both the Spurs and Houston Rockets, the 1978–79 NBA season was proving unprofitable and unpopular. Still, during the 1979 NBA All-Star Game weekend, NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien announced the league would add two new teams in the 1980–81 season, with teams in Dallas and Minneapolis.
Once the Minnesota team backed out, only Dallas remained, through negotiations with general counselor and future commissioner David Stern, the expansion fee was settled on the $12.5 million. Carter would provide half the amount. At the 1980 NBA All-Star Game, league owners voted to admit the new team, with the team's name coming from the 1957–1962 TV western Maverick. James Garner, who played the namesake character, was a member of the ownership group; the University of Texas at Arlington, who uses the Mavericks nickname, had objections about a shared name, but did not attempt any legal action. They joined the Midwest Division of the Western Conference, where they would stay until the league went to six divisions for the 2004–05 season. Dick Motta, who had guided the Washington Bullets to the NBA Championship in 1977–78, was hired as the team's first head coach, he had a well-earned reputation of being a stern disciplinarian, but was a great teacher of the game. Kiki Vandeweghe of UCLA was drafted by the Mavs with the 11th pick of the 1980 NBA draft, but Vandeweghe refused to play for the expansion Mavericks and staged a holdout that lasted a month into the team's inaugural season.
Vandeweghe was traded to the Denver Nuggets, along with a first-round pick, in 1981, in exchange for two future first-round picks that materialized into Rolando Blackman in 1981 and Sam Perkins in 1984. In the Mavericks' debut game, taking place in the brand-new Reunion Arena, the Mavericks defeated the Spurs, 103–92, but the Mavs started the season with a 6–40 record on their way to finishing 15–67. However, the Mavericks did make a player acquisition that, while it seemed minor at the time, turned out to play a important role in the early years of their franchise. Journeyman 6 ft 3 in guard Brad Davis, who played for the Anchorage Northern Knights of the Continental Basketball Association, was tracked down and signed by the Mavs in December. At the time, there was no reason to expect that Davis would be any better than the expansion-level talent the Mavs had, but he started the Mavs' final 26 games, led the team in assists, his career soared. He spent the next twelve years with the Mavericks, his number 15 jersey was retired.
The Mavericks marked the first NBA team to have a profitable debut season, with an average of 7,789 spectators. The 1981 NBA Draft brought three players; the Mavs selected 6'6" forward Mark Aguirre with the first pick, 6'6" guard Rolando Blackman 9th, 6'7" forward Jay Vincent 24th. By the end of his seven-year Mavs career, Aguirre would average 24.6 points per game. Blackman contributed 19.2 points over his 11-year career in Dallas. But it was Jay Vincent who made the biggest difference for the Mavs in their second season, leading the team in scoring with 21.4 points per game and earning NBA All-Rookie Team honors. The Mavericks improved to 28–54, getting out of the Midwest Division cellar as they finished above the Utah Jazz. In 1982–83, the Mavericks were serious contenders for the first time. At the All-Star break, they had won 12 of their last 15 games, they could not sustain that momentum and finished seven games behind the Denver Nuggets for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
But the Mavs' 38–44 re
Tim Thomas (basketball)
Timothy Mark Thomas is a retired American professional basketball player. A versatile 6'10" forward with a soft shooting touch, Thomas was tabbed as a future NBA star when he was still in high school, was selected to the McDonald's All-American team after averaging 25.3 points and 14.5 rebounds per game as a senior at Paterson Catholic High School. Following his freshman year at Villanova University, he was drafted seventh overall by the New Jersey Nets in the 1997 NBA Draft and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the Sixers' draft pick. Thomas enjoyed a solid rookie season, averaging 11.0 points per game, was named to the NBA's All-Rookie 2nd Team. The Sixers would grow impatient with a sophomore slump from Thomas, in 1999 he and Scott Williams were traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Jerald Honeycutt and Tyrone Hill. Milwaukee was enamored with Thomas's raw talent and versatility, hoped he could blossom into a star with more seasoning, it looked like things were coming together for Thomas during the 2000–01 season, when he averaged a career-high 13.4 ppg for the Bucks.
On January 5, 2001, Thomas connected on eight three-point field goals in the second half of Milwaukee's 119–115 loss to Portland. During his time with the Bucks, then-teammate Ray Allen was quoted as saying, "If he wanted to, Tim Thomas could be the best player in the league." After a strong playoff performance that year, Thomas signed a new deal with the Bucks worth $66 million over six years, despite being offered more money by Chicago. On February 16, 2004, Thomas was traded to the New York Knicks in a three team trade that included the Atlanta Hawks; the trade sent Keith Van Horn, whom Thomas was traded for during the 1997 draft, from the Knicks to the Bucks, Nazr Mohammed from the Hawks to the Knicks, Joel Pryzbilla from the Bucks to the Hawks, Michael Doleac from the Knicks to the Hawks. During game 1 of the Knicks' first round playoff series against the Nets, Thomas suffered an injury that kept him out of the remainder of the playoffs, when he was fouled by Jason Collins and taken out of the game on a stretcher.
The incident started a long feud with Nets forward Kenyon Martin, who Thomas called a fake tough guy, that continued past both players' playing careers. In 2017, Thomas rehashed their feud on an episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Thomas told Brandon Scoop B Robinson that he'd like to settle his feud with Kenyon Martin once and for all with a boxing match; the proceeds would go to the charity of their choice. Martin declined. Prior to the 2005–06 season, Thomas was traded to the Chicago Bulls, along with Jermaine Jackson, Mike Sweetney, a 2006 1st round draft pick, a 2007 1st round draft pick, a 2007 2nd round draft pick and a 2009 2nd round draft pick, in exchange for Eddy Curry, Antonio Davis and a 2007 1st round draft pick. Playing in the final year of his contract, Thomas was given minimal minutes from the rebuilding Bulls. After playing just three games for Chicago, Thomas was deactivated while dealing with ankle and back injuries. After not playing for nearly four months, Thomas was granted his release from the Bulls.
On March 1, 2006, Thomas agreed to terms with the Phoenix Suns to a contract for the remainder of the season. He made his debut with the Suns two days scoring 20 points off the bench in a 123-118 win over Orlando. Playing alongside reigning NBA MVP Steve Nash, Thomas rejuvenated his career in Phoenix. In the playoffs, Thomas played a crucial role in the Suns run to the Western Conference Finals. Starting in place of injured All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire, Thomas scored a game-high 22 points with 15 rebounds in a game 1 victory in the first round over the Lakers. In game 6, Thomas hit the game-tying three at the end of regulation and an important three-pointer late in overtime to seal the Suns win; the Suns won game 7. In the Suns' second round series against the Clippers, Thomas was credited for his defense on Elton Brand, helping the team to another seven game series win. In the Western Conference Finals, Phoenix fell to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. In game five of that series, Thomas "blew a kiss" to Maverick Dirk Nowitzki, who proceeded to score a total of 50 pts for the game.
Thomas expressed an interest in re-signing with Phoenix, though the Suns were over the salary cap and expected Stoudemire to return as their starter. On July 13, 2006, Thomas signed a four -- $24 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, he started in place of Elton Brand and Chris Kaman, though Thomas himself battled injuries. On November 21, 2008, Thomas and Cuttino Mobley were traded to the New York Knicks, in exchange for Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins. In his return to the Knicks, Thomas was reuinted with Mike D'Antoni, his coach in Phoenix. On February 19, 2009, Tim was traded again to the Bulls along with center Jerome James and guard Anthony Roberson in exchange for guard Larry Hughes just before the trade deadline, his second stint in Chicago was more successful than his first, as he provided veteran leadership to the young team, helping the Bulls make a late season push to qualify for the playoffs. Though entering the playoffs as the seventh seed, they were able to push their first round series against the defending–champion Boston Celtics to a full seven games.
On July 14, 2009, the Bulls negotiated a buyout of Thomas's $6.5 million contract. On July 28, 2009, the Dallas Mavericks signed free agent Thomas. In late January, however, he left the team temporarily to take care of his wife, who had an undisclosed illness. In August 2010 Thomas agreed to a one-year deal with the Mavericks worth the veteran
Providence College is a private, Roman Catholic university located about two miles west of downtown Providence, Rhode Island, United States, the state's capital city. With a 2012–2013 enrollment of 3,852 undergraduate students and 735 graduate students, the college specializes in academic programs in the liberal arts, it is the only university in North America administered by the Dominican Friars. Founded in 1917, the college offers 49 majors and 34 minors and, beginning with the class of 2016, requires all its students to complete 16 credits in the Development of Western Civilization, which serves as a major part of the college's core curriculum. Fr. Brian Shanley has been the school's president since 2005. In athletics, Providence College competes in the NCAA's Division I and is a founding member of the original Big East Conference and Hockey East. In December 2012, the College announced it and six other Catholic colleges would leave the original Big East Conference to form a new basketball-centric Big East Conference.
In 1917, Providence College was founded as an all-male school through the efforts of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence and the Dominican Province of St. Joseph; the central figure in the college's incorporation was Matthew Harkins, Bishop of Providence, who sought an institution that would establish a center of advanced learning for the Catholic youth of Rhode Island. Opening its doors at the corner of Eaton Street and River Avenue with only one building, Harkins Hall, the college under inaugural president Dennis Albert Casey, O. P. began with nine Dominican faculty members. Under second president William D. Noon, O. P. the college opened its first dormitory, Guzman Hall. Under President Lorenzo C. McCarthy, O. P. Providence College athletics soon received their moniker as the "Friars." With black and white as team colors, the school had early success in basketball and baseball. In 1933, the school received regional accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; the college conferred its first Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science degrees by 1935, the year that the school's newspaper was first published.
By 1939, Aquinas Hall dormitory had been built to accommodate more students enrolling in general studies, but with the impact of World War II upon enrollment, President John J. Dillon, O. P. lobbied Rhode Island's congressional delegation to pressure the War Department to assign Providence College an Army Specialized Training Program unit. Unit # 1188 arrived on campus in the Summer of 1943. A class of 380 soldiers-in-training studied engineering at Providence College for a year before going overseas. Robert J. Slavin, O. P. served as president from 1947 to 1961. During his tenure in 1955, Providence acquired the House of Good Shepard property that pushed the original boundaries of campus to Huxley Avenue. Slavin oversaw the establishment of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps on campus in 1951, the Liberal Arts Honors Program in 1957; the athletics program of the college gained acceptance into the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1948. Prior to the opening of Alumni Hall in 1955, the men's basketball team played in local Providence high schools.
The college hired Joe Mullaney as the men's basketball coach. President Vincent C. Dore, O. P. opened the doors of the college's graduate school as well as a new dormitory building, now called Meagher Hall. President William P. Haas, O. P. opened Phillips Memorial Library in 1969. In 1967, the college added its first lay faculty members in its Departments of Theology and Philosophy, as well as its first full-time female faculty member. Two years the student dress code was abolished. In 1970, the college decided to admit women starting with the 1971–1972 school year; the same year, the first female administrator was hired. By 1975, the first year women graduated after completing a four-year course of study, women had attained visible positions in school organizations. Anne Martha Frank was the first women to edit the school weekly newspaper. Patricia Slonina became the first woman editor of The Alembic. Ana Margarita Cabrera was the first woman to edit The Veritas. Subsequent president Thomas R. Peterson, O.
P. instituted the Development of Western Civilization program, while in 1974, the college acquired the property of the former Charles V. Chapin Hospital on the other side of Huxley Avenue; the campus was split in half by Huxley Avenue, providing an "Upper" campus and "Lower" campus. In 1974, the School of Continuing Education awarded the college's first Associate's degree. With men's basketball tickets becoming a hot commodity at the 2,600-seat Alumni Hall gymnasium, with the opening of the Providence Civic Center in 1972, the Friars moved downtown in time for their Final Four appearance behind Providence natives Ernie DiGregorio and Marvin Barnes. Two years the men's hockey team played their first season in the new home on campus, as Schneider Arena opened in 1974 with Ron Wilson leading the way. In the early morning hours of December 13, 1977, a dormitory fire killed ten female residents of Aquinas Hall. Meanwhile, the demographics of the student body continued to change, as women outnumbered men in incoming classes and non-Rhode Island students soon outnumbered in-state stude
YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion. YouTube allows users to upload, rate, add to playlists, comment on videos, subscribe to other users, it offers a wide variety of corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, other content such as video blogging, short original videos, educational videos. Most of the content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed inappropriate are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.
YouTube and its creators earn advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, subscription services offering premium and ad-free music streaming, ad-free access to all content, including exclusive content commissioned from notable personalities; as of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day. As of August 2018, the website is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world, according to Alexa Internet. YouTube has faced criticism over aspects of its operations, including its handling of copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos, its recommendation algorithms perpetuating videos that promote conspiracy theories and falsehoods, hosting videos ostensibly targeting children but containing violent and/or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters, videos of minors attracting pedophilic activities in their comment sections, fluctuating policies on the types of content, eligible to be monetized with advertising.
YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. Hurley had studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. According to a story, repeated in the media and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos, shot at a dinner party at Chen's apartment in San Francisco. Karim did not attend the party and denied that it had occurred, but Chen commented that the idea that YouTube was founded after a dinner party "was very strengthened by marketing ideas around creating a story, digestible". Karim said the inspiration for YouTube first came from Janet Jackson's role in the 2004 Super Bowl incident, when her breast was exposed during her performance, from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Karim could not find video clips of either event online, which led to the idea of a video sharing site.
Hurley and Chen said that the original idea for YouTube was a video version of an online dating service, had been influenced by the website Hot or Not. Difficulty in finding enough dating videos led to a change of plans, with the site's founders deciding to accept uploads of any type of video. YouTube began as a venture capital-funded technology startup from an $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital and an $8 million investment from Artis Capital Management between November 2005 and April 2006. YouTube's early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California; the domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, the website was developed over the subsequent months. The first YouTube video, titled Me at the zoo, shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo; the video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, can still be viewed on the site. YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005; the first video to reach one million views was a Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho in November 2005.
Following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in November, the site launched on December 15, 2005, by which time the site was receiving 8 million views a day. The site grew and, in July 2006, the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day. According to data published by market research company comScore, YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share of around 43% and more than 14 billion views of videos in May 2010. In May 2011, 48 hours of new videos were uploaded to the site every minute, which increased to 60 hours every minute in January 2012, 100 hours every minute in May 2013, 300 hours every minute in November 2014, 400 hours every minute in February 2017; as of January 2012, the site had 800 million unique users a month. It is estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000. According to third-party web analytics providers and SimilarWeb, YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world, as of December 2016.
Saudi Arabia the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. With a land area of 2,150,000 km2, Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest sovereign state in the Middle East, the second-largest in the Arab world, the fifth-largest in Asia, the 12th-largest in the world. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south, it is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, most of its terrain consists of arid desert and mountains. As of October 2018, the Saudi economy was the largest in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world. Saudi Arabia enjoys one of the world's youngest populations; the territory that now constitutes Saudi Arabia was the site of several ancient cultures and civilizations. The prehistory of Saudi Arabia shows some of the earliest traces of human activity in the world.
The world's second-largest religion, emerged in modern-day Saudi Arabia. In the early 7th century, the Islamic prophet Muhammad united the population of Arabia and created a single Islamic religious polity. Following his death in 632, his followers expanded the territory under Muslim rule beyond Arabia, conquering huge and unprecedented swathes of territory in a matter of decades. Arab dynasties originating from modern-day Saudi Arabia founded the Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates as well as numerous other dynasties in Asia and Europe; the area of modern-day Saudi Arabia consisted of four distinct regions: Hejaz and parts of Eastern Arabia and Southern Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud, he united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud. Saudi Arabia has since been a totalitarian absolute monarchy a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamist lines.
The ultraconservative Wahhabi religious movement within Sunni Islam has been called "the predominant feature of Saudi culture", with its global spread financed by the oil and gas trade. Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the two holiest places in Islam; the state's official language is Arabic. Petroleum was discovered on 3 March 1938 and followed up by several other finds in the Eastern Province. Saudi Arabia has since become the world's second largest oil producer and the world's largest largest oil exporter, controlling the world's second largest oil reserves and the sixth largest gas reserves; the kingdom is categorized as a World Bank high-income economy with a high Human Development Index and is the only Arab country to be part of the G-20 major economies. The state has attracted criticism for a multitude of reasons including but not limited to: its archaic treatment of women, its excessive and extrajudicial use of capital punishment, state-sponsored discrimination against religious minorities and atheists, its role in the Yemeni Civil War, sponsorship of Islamic terrorists, its strict interpretation of Sharia Law.
An autocratic monarchy, the kingdom has the world's third-highest military expenditure and, according to SIPRI, was the world's second largest arms importer from 2010 to 2014. Saudi Arabia is considered a middle power. In addition to the GCC, it is an active member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and OPEC. Following the unification of the Hejaz and Nejd kingdoms, the new state was named al-Mamlakah al-ʻArabīyah as-Suʻūdīyah by royal decree on 23 September 1932 by its founder, Abdulaziz Al Saud. Although this is translated as "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" in English, it means "the Saudi Arab kingdom", or "the Arab Saudi Kingdom"; the word "Saudi" is derived from the element as-Suʻūdīyah in the Arabic name of the country, a type of adjective known as a nisba, formed from the dynastic name of the Saudi royal family, the Al Saud. Its inclusion expresses the view. Al Saud is an Arabic name formed by adding the word Al, meaning "family of" or "House of", to the personal name of an ancestor.
In the case of the Al Saud, this is the father of the dynasty's 18th-century founder, Muhammad bin Saud. There is evidence that human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula dates back to about 125,000 years ago, it is now believed that the first modern humans to spread east across Asia left Africa about 75,000 years ago across the Bab-el-Mandeb connecting the Horn of Africa and Arabia. The Arabian peninsula is regarded as a central figure in our understanding of hominin evolution and dispersals. Arabia underwent an extreme environmental fluctuation in the Quaternary that led to profound evolutionary and demographic changes. Arabia has a rich Lower Paleolithic record, the quantity of Oldwan-like sites in the region indicate a significant role that Arabia had played in the early hominin colonization of Eurasia. In the Neolithic period, prominent cultures such as al-Magar whose epicenter lay in mod
La Crosse Bobcats
The La Crosse Bobcats were a Continental Basketball Association basketball team located in La Crosse, from 1996 to the league's bankruptcy in February 2001. The Bobcats were the second CBA team located in La Crosse; the team hosted its matches at the La Crosse Center. Don Zierden served as the Bobcats head coach during their inaugural 1996–97 season; the team held their first open tryouts at Viterbo College from October 25 to October 27, 1996. In 1997, the Bobcats marketing campaign featured commercials depicting La Crosse players hawking sub-par team endorsed products in a home shopping parody; the team's tagline for the commercials were. Great basketball". No actual La Crosse players were in the commercials since they were filmed during the off-season, so actors were used. During the 1999 CBA draft, the Bobcats selected former Wisconsin Badgers forward Sam Okey in the eighth round. Okey declined a contract from La Crosse. In September 2000, the Bobcats announced. Okey first received basketball notoriety in Wisconsin while attending a Cassville prep school.
He was a McDonald's High School All-American in 1995. In 2006, the City of La Crosse dedicated a time capsule which included objects from the city's 150-year history. Buried under a marble slab, the capsule is set to be opened for the city's bicentennial celebration in 2056. A Bobcats pin-back button and program from their inaugural season were included in the capsule. Sources Walker, Don. "La Crosse, other CBA teams harbor ill will. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Kobe Bean Bryant is an American former professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, he won five NBA championships. Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive team, he led the NBA in scoring during two seasons and ranks third on the league's all-time regular season scoring and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. He is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Bryant is the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons. Bryant is the son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, he enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. Upon graduation, he declared for the NBA draft and was selected by the Charlotte Hornets in the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft; the Hornets traded him to the Lakers.
As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, he was named an All-Star by his second season. Despite a feud between the two players and Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault, but the charges were dropped, a civil suit was settled out of court. After the Lakers lost the 2004 NBA Finals, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat and Bryant became the cornerstone of the Lakers, he led the NBA in scoring during the 2005 -- 2006 -- 07 seasons. In 2006, he scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second most points scored in a single game in league history behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962. Bryant was awarded the regular season's Most Valuable Player Award in 2008. After losing in the 2008 NBA Finals, he led the Lakers to two consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, earning the Finals MVP Award on both occasions.
He continued to be among the top players in the league through 2013 until he suffered a torn Achilles tendon at age 34. Although he recovered, his play was limited the following two years by season-ending injuries to his knee and shoulder, respectively. Citing his physical decline, he announced. At 34 years and 104 days of age, Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points, he became the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history on February 1, 2010, when he surpassed Jerry West. During his third year in the league, Bryant was chosen to start the All-Star Game, he would continue to be selected to start that game for a record 18 consecutive appearances until his retirement, his four All-Star MVP Awards are tied for the most in NBA history. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals as a member of the U. S. national team. In 2018, Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball. Bryant was born in 1978 in Philadelphia.
He is the maternal nephew of basketball player John "Chubby" Cox. His parents named him after the famous beef of Kobe, which they saw on a restaurant menu, his middle name, Bean, is derived from his father's nickname "Jellybean". Bryant was raised Roman Catholic; when Bryant was six, his father retired from the NBA and moved his family to Rieti in Italy to continue playing professional basketball at a lower level. Kobe learned to speak fluent Italian. During summers, he would come back to the United States to play in a basketball summer league. Bryant started playing basketball when he was 3 years old, the Lakers were his favorite team when he was growing up. Bryant's grandfather would mail him videos of NBA games. At an early age, he learned to play soccer and his favorite team was A. C. Milan; when Kobe's father Joe retired as a player in 1991, the family moved back to the United States. Bryant earned national recognition during a spectacular high school career at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, located in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion.
He played on the varsity basketball team as a freshman. He became the first freshman in decades to start for Lower Merion's varsity team, but the team finished with a 4–20 record; the following three years, the Aces compiled a 77–13 record, with Bryant playing all five positions. During his junior year, he averaged 31.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and was named Pennsylvania Player of the Year, attracting attention from college recruiters in the process. Duke, North Carolina and Villanova were at the top of his list. At Adidas ABCD camp, Bryant earned the 1995 senior MVP award while playing alongside future NBA teammate Lamar Odom. While in high school 76ers coach John Lucas invited Bryant to work out and scrimmage with the team, where he played one-on-one with Jerry Stackhouse. In his senior year of high school, Bryant led the Aces to their first state championship in 53 years. During the run, he averaged 30.8 points, 12 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4 steals, 3.8 blocked shots in leading the Aces to a 31–3 record.
Bryant ended his high school career as Southeastern Pennsylvania's all-time leading scorer at 2,883 points, surpassing both Wilt Chamberlain and Lionel Simmons. Bryant received several awards for his outstanding performance during his senior year at Lower Merion; the awards included being na