Welcome to ALUX.com! The place where future billionaires come to get inspired. If you’re not subscribed yet, you’re missing out. Hello Aluxers and welcome back. Like millions of people all over the world, here at Alux we were shocked to hear the news of the passing of basketball legend Kobe Bryant. To fans of the sport, he was simply one of the greatest of all time. And even to those of us who aren’t that familiar with basketball, he was one of the world’s most recognizable sports personalities. He shone not only on the court but in all kinds of other areas as well. So to pay our respects, we’ve decided to take a look at this incredible life, and to celebrate it with 15 amazing facts about Kobe Bryant. And he became only the 6th NBA player to be drafted straight from straight from high school. Playing in the High School league in Pennsylvania, he became the league’s highest scorer ever. So it didn’t take long before invitations from the NBA came flooding in. And the team that snapped up wasn’t the Lakers, but the North Carolina team, the Charlotte Hornets. But it seems the Hornets had no idea who they’d got their hands on. Not only was he their 13thchoice, but they immediately traded him to the LA Lakers for Serbian player Vlade Divac. Bryant made his mark immediately on the Lakers, helping them win NBA titles in both of his first two seasons: as well as three more titles throughout his 20-year career in LA. If Bryant hadn’t made it as a basketball pro, it’s fair to say he would have done well in another field. He performed well on his SATS, with an overall score of 1080. Combined with his basketball skills, this would have guaranteed him entry to a good college. But for Kobe, there was no doubt what direction he was headed in, and he made the decision to skip college and go pro straight from school. And thanks to his victories in the high school league he was already basically a celebrity in that realm. And being the celebrity he was, when it came to his senior prom, he wowed his fellow pupils by taking along R&B star Brandy as his date. His dad, Joe Bryant, was also a basketball player. And when he retired from the NBA, he decided to play in the Italian league, and took the whole family with him, staying there until Kobe was 14. In interviews, Kobe often said that Italy always had a special place in his heart, and he even became fluent in Italian. In the days since Kobe’s death, with the outpouring of grief from around the world, a huge amount has come from Italian fans. In the town of Reggio Emilia, where Kobe lived for two years, the mayor has already decided to name a square in the town after him. For his first few years in Italy, Kobe’s go-to sport wasn’t basketball, but soccer. And he also became a lifelong fan of Italian team AC Milan. In fact, if things had turned out differently, he could have ended up becoming a soccer player. . Perhaps the main reason this didn’t happen was because of his grandfather, who used to send him videos of NBA games by postal service. (Remember, these were the days before the internet). As a result, Kobe fell in love with basketball and started to play the sport seriously. But he stayed a huge soccer fan through his life, and was known to appear at charity soccer matches, giving us a taste of what might have been if he’d stayed in the sport. In 1979, when Pamela and Joe Bryant gave birth to their third child, they had an unusual source of inspiration for naming him. After seeing Kobe beef on a restaurant menu, they decided they liked the name and named him Kobe. Early on in his career, Bryant even visited the city where the beef comes from, and that he shared a name with. And while he was there, he also made a donation to a relief effort following a major earthquake in Kobe. And let’s not forget, that for most of his career, he was also known affectionately by another name – Black Mamba. This one was chosen by Bryant himself. After seeing the film, Kill Bill, he was drawn to Uma Thurman’s character, who had the codename Black Mamba. A mamba is a snake with a deadly ability to strike with speed and precision – qualities that Bryant was known for on the court. And this prompted to choose take this nickname for himself, and since then, whenever we’ve heard the words Black Mamba, we’ve thought of Kobe. In January 2006, in a game against the Toronto Raptors, Bryant scored an incredible 81 points. These points were crucial, as the game was closer than you might think, finishing at 122 to 104. Kobe’s score in this game has only been bettered once in an NBA game, in 1962, when Wilt Chamberlain took home 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors. As well as the 5 NBA leagues that Bryant won, he also won 2 Olympic gold medals – in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and the 2012 Olympics in London. Both finals saw the USA taking on the Spanish team, and In both events, as you’d expect, Bryant was instrumental in leading the USA to gold. Tragically, the death of Kobe, and their second daughter, Gianna, came just weeks after the couple celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. They first met in 1999, when Kobe was 21 and Vanessa was 17, and were married just 6 months later. At the time Bryant’s parents objected to the marriage, and even refused to attend it. This was partly because they were unhappy about them getting married at such a young age. And also because they had objections to Kobe marrying a woman who wasn’t African American. However, thankfully, they put their differences aside with the birth of their first daughter, Natalia, in 2003. Examples of this include his habit of practicing alone in a dark court before anyone else had got there – and being the last to leave. He once insisted that Nike shave a few millimeters off the bottom of a shoe to improve the reaction time by a fraction of a second. And even though he suffered from injuries later on his career, he was known for never giving up, and often demonstrated a high pain threshold. He also loved being booed by the crowd and often stated that this just made him work harder. worth was estimated at a staggering 500 million dollars, making him one of the richest athletes of all time. As well as his NBA league earnings, a lot of this came from a long list of brands that he endorsed. His first deal, which he signed with Adidas, earned him $48 million, and resulted in his signature KB8 shoe. He later switched to Nike, and also had endorsements with Sprite, McDonalds and Nutella among others. You can add to that Nintendo’s NBA Courtside, as well as appearances on Guitar Hero World Tour and Call of Duty: Black Ops, and the $500 million he made starts to make sense. And how can we forget his appearances with Lionel Messi on Turkish Airlines adverts, in which the two sports aces compete to impress a kid with their skills. and he had a lot of these aside from his endorsements. In 2013 he co-founded the venture capital firm, Bryant Stibel, along with his business partner Jeff Stibel. The firm currently has 2 million dollars in assets, with investments in tech giants like Dell and Alibaba. As well as having smaller start-ups on their books. And independently of the firm, Bryant also backed the sports drink Body Armour. The deal made him millions of dollars, proving that he had an eye for a smart investments whenever he saw one. When it came to giving something back, Bryant was on the top of his game too, contributing to a number of worthwhile social causes. These include After-School All-Stars, which provides after-school programs for underprivileged children across the US. As well as the Kobe Bryant China fund, which raises money in China for health and education. And through the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, Bryant helped underprivileged young people develop physical and social skills through sport. Along with all of his other ventures, he also had a go at a career in music, but this time, it didn’t take off. From his high school years, Bryant was a budding rapper. Once he became a celebrity, Sony came knocking to sign a record deal with him, seeing the appeal of having a basketball star on their label. An album was planned for release in 2000, but when the first single flopped the album was ditched. Bryant put this failure behind him, and didn’t make any more serious attempts at music. Just a good example of knowing when to stick to what you’re good at. But we can be pretty sure that Kobe never regretted his venture into music. Because that’s how he met his wife, Vanessa. While he was working on his album, the 17-year old Vanessa happened to be in the building, where she was filming a music video as a background dancer. Knowing how to make the most of an opportunity on and off the court, Kobe struck up a conversation and asked her out on a date. The rest is history. Even if his career in music didn’t go as planned, Kobe did end up making his mark on Hollywood, in a way that was completely unexpected. In 2015, when he announced his retirement from basketball, he wrote a heartfelt poem, which he gave the title ‘Dear Basketball’. In the poem, Bryant recalls falling in love with the sport as a 6-year-old boy. The poem was turned into a short animated film by veteran Disney animator, Glen Keane. And incredibly, it took the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film – adding an Oscar to Kobe’s list of awards. In his acceptance speech, Kobe said And Kobe definitely proved, that while he was amazing at dribbling, he could do a lot more. Ironically, and tragically, he’d been in third place until just hours before the accident that took his life. Just a day before he died, LA Lakers’ superstar LeBron James overtook him to claim the third spot. James talked about how much Kobe had inspired him. And in Kobe’s final tweet, gracious as ever, he congratulated James with the message ‘Continuing to move the game forward. Much respect my brother.’ It’s clear that Kobe Bryant had many, many talents, as well as immense determination. And even if he’d hung up his basketball boots, without a doubt he would have continued to shine, and could have given the world so much more. And finally, as you’ve stayed with us this long, it’s time for our bonus fact about Kobe Bryant. The people we feature on Alux are high achievers, and many of them can surely boast impressive awards cabinets in their homes. But here’s a truly unique fact about Kobe Bryant. In the world of sports, there aren’t many symbols of achievement greater than an Olympic gold medal. And the gold standard of recognition in the world of film is an Oscar. And correct us if we’re wrong, but as far as we can tell, the only person who’s ever been awarded both of these is none other than Kobe Bryant. And that’s on top of the five times he held up the NBA trophy. A final fact that reminds us just how unique and multi-talented this individual was. Thank you for spending some time with us Aluxers. Make sure to like and subscribe so you never miss another video. We also handpicked these videos which we recommend you watch next. You can talk to us on all social media or ask a question on our website ALUX.com! Thank you for being an Aluxer and we’ll see you back tomorrow.