Kobe: The Story of the NBA's Rising Young Star Kobe Bryant

Overview

Meet Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers' young basketball prodigy and the heir apparent to the great Michael Jordan himself. Here, for the first time, is the whole story of this incredible athlete—how he became the great person and incredible gifted, driven player he is today. Follow Kobe's life from growing up as the son of an NBA player through his decision to turn pro at 17, his rookie season, the All-Star Game, and his amazing second year in the pros.

A must for every fan, Kobe...

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Overview

Meet Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers' young basketball prodigy and the heir apparent to the great Michael Jordan himself. Here, for the first time, is the whole story of this incredible athlete—how he became the great person and incredible gifted, driven player he is today. Follow Kobe's life from growing up as the son of an NBA player through his decision to turn pro at 17, his rookie season, the All-Star Game, and his amazing second year in the pros.

A must for every fan, Kobe includes eight pages of color photos, personal stats, and the rising star's career records.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
A star is born; his name is Kobe.
Michael Jordan
The kid is real good and I see a lot of myself in him, no doubt about it.
Eddie Jones
Every day Kobe comes to practice is a highlight film.
Los Angeles Times
A star is born; his name is Kobe.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061013775
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 342,652
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

An award-winning journalist and bestselling author, Joe Layden has written more than thirty books, including The Last Great Fight, which was named one of the best sports books of 2007 by Sports Illustrated and the American Library Association. He is also the co-author of the New York Times bestsellers There and Back Again and The Rock Says. . . . He lives in upstate New York.

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Read an Excerpt

In the living room of his Parents' neat suburban home, a three-year-old boy is acting out a fantasy. He puts on his San Diego Clippers uniform--a miniature replica of the one worn by his dad--and frantically dribbles a tiny foam basketball around the room. A bundle of energy and exuberance, he bounces off walls, crashes into furniture. All the while, though, he manages to keep an eye on a nearby television set. He can hear the announcers broadcasting the Clippers' game. He can see his father striding powerfully up the floor, then gliding toward the basket.

Before long the child's world intersects with the one on the screen. He, too, is airborne. He leaps at a small plastic hoop and slams the ball through. As the roar of the crowd crackles through the television's speakers, the boy pumps his fists in the air.

It goes on like that for the better part of two hours, the child copying what he sees on the screen. He guards invisible opponents, swats away invisible shots, jukes invisible defenders. When Dad's team calls a time-out, the boy pulls up a chair, sips from a water bottle, and listens intently to an imaginary coach. He wipes the sweat from his brow with a towel bearing the Clippers logo, just like the big guys do. Just like Dad.

When his mother enters the room, he looks up at her, wide-eyed. "Mom," he says. "I'm going to play in the NBA. " She smiles and gives the boy a hug. She says nothing to discourage him, for she knows how fragile a dream can be. Especially the big dreams. As the game goes on, she watches the two of them, mirror images, father and son, and she thinks to herself...

Why not?

It has often been said that if you aspire to acareer as a professional athlete, the smartest thing you can do is choose good parents. In just about every way imaginable, Kobe Bryant got lucky. He was born into a caring, loving family whose athletic roots ran deep.

His father, Joe Bryant, was a prep star who led John Bartram High School to the Philadelphia Public League basketball championship in 1972. Joe was recruited by some of the top Division 1 college programs in the country, including Maryland and Notre Dame. In the end, though, he decided to attend La Salle University in Philadelphia, so that he could remain close to friends and family.

While Joe was at La Salle, he began dating a young woman named Pam Cox. The two had first met while they were still in high school. Their grandparents lived on the same block, and occasionally the two teenagers would run into each other during family visits. Joe was captivated by Pam even then, and told some of his friends that one day he would marry her. But their romance would need a few years to blossom.

Interestingly enough, their first real date was preceded by a basketball game. Joe Bryant was playing for La Salle and Pam's brother, John "Chubby" Cox, was playing for Villanova. The two schools were both involved in a doubleheader one night at the Palestra, in downtown Philadelphia. Pam, a student at Clarion State, was in the stands to watch her brother play. But before the evening was over, she had turned her attention to Joe.

"I was sitting on one side and I see her parents, and she's sitting on the other side and sees my parents," Joe Bryant recalled during an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. "And I was walking around to see her parents, and she was walking around to see mine. It was kind of like a Miss Piggy and [Kermit the Frog] kind of thing: 'Hey, how you doing?' That type of thing. That night we went out on our first date."

Seven months later, Joe Bryant married Pam Cox. In the spring of 1975, after his junior yearat La Salle, Joe decided to leave school and play professional basketball. In the 1990s, studentathletes commonly make this decision. In fact, in recent years the majority of players selected in the first round of the NBA draft have been underclassmen. But times were different in the 1970s. In order to enter the NBA before his college eligibility had expired, a player had to prove financial hardship. For Joe it wasn't difficult. He was a married man with a child on the way. His family needed the money.

There was no shortage of NBA teams willing to give Joe a job. After all, he was a lanky, 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward with the sensibilities of a playmaking guard. The Golden State Warriors drafted him in the first round, but Joe wanted more money than the team was willing to pay him. His tough negotiating stance was a gamble, but it worked out well. The Warriors traded Joe to the Philadelphia 76ers, who offered him a five-year contract worth nearly a million dollars. In today's NBA--where the average salary is more than a million dollars...per year!--that would be a laughably small contract. But in 1975 it was a staggering amount of money. And, as a bonus, Joe and Pam would get to stay in Philadelphia. He would play professional basketball in his hometown, and their children would be surrounded by family: aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. To Joe it was a dream come true.

Unfortunately, Joe's NBA career was not quite what he hoped it would be, in part because he did not fit easily into the role typically assigned to players his size. He was a flamboyant player who preferred dribbling and shooting to rebounding. Often he would stray far from the basket, into that...

Kobe. Copyright © by Joe Layden. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    Kobe Bryant

    This book is about a young man by the name of Kobe Bryant. Its starts at the beginning in Philadelphia where kobe was born. Joe Layden then goes on to explain his move to Italy, and then back to the U.S.A. to play for huis high school basketball team. As the book goes on, Layden explains Kobe's high school career and all of his achievements. After high school kobe decided to go to the NBA. Throughout the rest of the book it explains how Kobe overcame many challenges and is becoming one of the best players ever to put on a jersey. I would recomend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Kobe Bryant and his life. I liked how this book explained in detail about Kobe's high school and NBA career. But i didnt like how it didnt tell very much of Kobe's life in Italy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2005

    Mohamed preview

    The book was an awsome read not because kobe is My favorite player because he incureged me by.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2005

    For Any NBA fan who loves Basketball period

    Yes, I would recommend this book to young kids or if your just want to know more about Kobe as a person, where he grew up, where he went to high school, how his first years in the NBA were good but could of been beeter. And if you read this book then you kind of understand why KOBE is the way he is, closed off to everyone, and doesn't hang out with any teammates, etc. I would rather read this book a thousand times than reading a book that, I wouldn't pay any attention to at all. I also choose this book because it shows you how to be true to yourself, be honest,have pride in yourself and while playing basketball show resprct to everyone you play with. This book is just more than a regular book it's everything you want in a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2001

    AMAZING BOOK!

    And it's only two years in the NBA!! Amazing book!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2000

    Finally a book that shows true talent!!

    The reason I give this book 4-out-of-5 stars is because it shows some of the earleir true talent's of Kobe Bryant.It also gives you a idea of the many more things to come for this young athlete as he give true NBA fans a definition of basketball and how it should be played.

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