Kobe was a professional basketball player, and one of the greatest players in NBA history, along with Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Magic Johnson. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he spent two decades of his career and received various awards.
Kobe Bryant retired at the age of 37 in 2016. He announced his retirement in November 2015 on The Player’s Tribune and played his final game on April 13, 2016, where he scored 60 points in a game against Utah Jazz. Kobe joined the Los Angeles Lakers straight out of high school in 1996, and he played his entire 20-year career in the Lakers.
Who was Kobe Bryant?
Kobe was a professional basketball player who played in the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. He was the son of Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, a former NBA player. He was born in Philadelphia in August 1978 and partly lived in Italy where his father played professional basketball after retiring from NBA.
Kobe gained national recognition at Lower Merion High School as a spectacular high-school basketball player. He was drafted in 1996, and selected by Charlotte Hornets, where he was then traded to the Lakers.
Kobe had a 20-year-long career with the Lakers, where he won five NBA championships and was named an 18-time All-Star. He was also named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2008. Kobe finished with 33,000 points, which ranks him as the 4th all-time scorer in NBA history.
When did Kobe retire?
Kobe announced his retirement from professional basketball on November 29, 2015, via The Player’s Tribune website. He played his last game on April 13, 2016, against Utah Jazz at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Kobe scored a staggering 60 points in the final game, leading the Lakers to a 101-96 victory. After the game, Kobe gave an emotional retirement speech, and an official Jersey retirement speech in 2017. Kobe was age 37 when he retired, having spent 20 years of his career playing for the Lakers.
What caused Kobe to retire?
Kobe retired from professional basketball towards the end of the 2015-2016 NBA season because he felt injuries were slowing him down. He had suffered various injuries in the years leading to his retirement, including a torn Achilles tendon and knee injuries. However, Kobe had several knee arthroscopies and injections to ease the pain, but it was not enough to get back to his explosive ways.
Still, Kobe had spent 20 years in the NBA, which is a long period for a professional basketball player. He had also won five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, and two-time MVP awards. Most NBA players retire between ages 28 to 34 when the body starts to slow down, and Kobe was already 37 at the time.
In addition, after accomplishing everything he wanted to as a basketball player, Kobe was interested in exploring new opportunities in other areas outside basketball. Kobe had invested in BodyArmor, a sports drink company, where he held a 10% stake. He also founded Granity Studios, a multimedia production company, which produced films, television shows, books, etc. Others investments included The Player’s Tribune, VIPKid, and HouseCanary.
What was Kobe’s net worth before he died?
Forbes estimates Kobe’s net worth to be $600 million as of January 2020 when he died. His net worth was mainly attributed to his earning as a professional basketball player at the Lakers, endorsement deals with brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, Turkish Airlines, and McDonald’s, as well as the business ventures he had invested in.
Kobe had an interest in various investments. In 2014, Kobe purchased a 10% stake in BodyArmor SuperDrink company for $6 million; this investment rose to $400 million as of 2021 after Coca-Cola purchased a controlling stake in the company.
In 2016, Kobe and Jeff Stibel founded started Bryant-Stibel, a venture capital firm with $100 million in funding. In the same year, he founded Granity Studios, a multimedia production company.
What is the average retirement age for NBA players?
According to a study by RBC, the average retirement age for NBA players is 28, with the average median age for NBA players being 34 years. The most common reason for early retirement is sports physicality; basketball is an intense game, and professional players put their bodies through too much stress that they fall behind the standard athletic performance.
However, many players have continued playing well into their late thirties and 40s. Notable examples include LeBron James, who is still playing for the Lakers at 38, and Vince Carter, who retired at 43. Karl Malone retired at age 41, Michael Jordan at 40, and Shaq O’Neal retired at age 39.
Do NBA players get paid after retirement?
NBA has a pension fund for retired NBA players, but a player must apply to participate in the retirement program. Eligible participants must have played in the NBA for at least three years to qualify for the pension fund. The fund allows participants to start receiving benefits as early as age 45, but they can wait until age 62 to receive the full benefit.
If an NBA player retires after three years of service, and claims the pension benefit at age 62, they will receive about $57,000 in annual pension payments. Veteran NBA players with 10 years of services can receive up to $215,000 annually if they claim benefits at age 62. However, NBA players who claim benefits early at age 45 will receive reduced benefits.