Kobe Bryant's Trophy Case: A Look at The Black Mamba's Top Awards & Records

J FCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2011

Kobe Bryant's Trophy Case: A Look at The Black Mamba's Top Awards & Records

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    ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 14:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers holds the Bill Russell MVP trophy and the Larry O'Brien trophy after defeating the Orlando Magic in Game Five of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 14, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. The
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    There will always be debate about his status as the greatest ever, but there is no doubt Kobe Bryant is one of the best in Lakers history.

    Since he entered the 1996 NBA Draft and joined the Lakers fresh out of high school, he's been collecting hardware and breaking records.

    From his five ESPYs to being named TNT NBA Player of the Decade and Sporting News' Athlete of the Decade for the 2000's, Kobe's long list of achievements on the hardwood is nearly impossible to keep up with.

    You can decide for yourself whether or not you'd put his accolades up against Micheal Jordan to prove him as the greatest baller of all time.

1997 NBA Dunk Contest Champion

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    8 Feb 1997:  Guard Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers holds the Slam Dunk Contest trophy at the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr  /Allsport
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    In his debut, Bryant became the youngest player to make an appearance in an NBA game.

    Although that record has since been broken by his teammate Andrew Bynum and Jermaine O'Neal, he still holds the honors of being the youngest player to win a dunk contest.

    As a rookie, Kobe won the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest topping Chris Carr, Michael Finley, Ray Allen, Bob Sura, and Darvin Ham.

NBA Record: Youngest Player To....

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    19 Nov 1997: Guard Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. The Lakers won the game 118-93.
    Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

    In addition to being the youngest Slam Dunk Contest champ, Kobe's been the youngest to achieve several other milestones and honors.

    It helped that he was the youngest player to start a game because that led to him becoming the youngest to reach 18,000 points, 20,000 points, 23,000 points, 24,000 points, and 25,000 points.

    He was the youngest to be named to the NBA All-Rookie Team as well as the All-Defensive Team in the 1999-2000 season.

    Last but not least, Bryant is the youngest to start in a NBA All-Star Game, as he was voted in by fans in only his second season.

2008 NBA MVP

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles before receiving the MVP Trophy before the start of Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Utah Jazz during the 2008 NBA Playoffs on May 7, 2008 at Staples Cent
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Surprisingly, Kobe has only won one league MVP.

    It came in 2008 after yet another solid season, but unfortunately he couldn't lead his team past the Celtics in his first NBA Finals without Shaq.

    He would get another shot at Boston, and two more chances at an even better MVP award.

2x Scoring Champion

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    MILWAUKEE - NOVEMBER 21: Kobe Bryant#24 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks on November 21, 2007 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agreees that, by downloading and
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Kobe does it all out on the court, but scoring is what he does best. He'll drop in shots that, when released, look like they have no chance of falling through the basket.

    Whether backing down a defender, driving to the bucket, or fading for a three he manages to get it done one way or the other. The Black Mamba is simply undefendable.

    In back to back years, 2006 and 2007, Bryant led the league in scoring with an average of 35.4 and 31.6 points per game respectively.

13x NBA All-Star

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference dunks the ball in front of LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat and the Eastern Conference in the second half of the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The NBA All-Star Game may not be the most competitive basketball contest you'll ever see, but not everyone gets invited to the party.

    Kobe has participated in every All-Star game since he's been in the league except for his rookie season. He ranks seventh among the players with the most appearances, but is only two behind Shaquille O'Neal who sits in second place.

    It will be interesting to see if Bryant will last long enough to catch up with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who is comfortably in first with nineteen All-Star game selections.

4x All-Star MVP

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference celebrates after being named MVP for the fourth time in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE
    Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

    It may not be the most prestigious award, but being the most valuable player among all-stars has to count for something.

    Kobe's won it the most in NBA history, most recently in 2011, but also in 2002, 2007, and in 2009 he shared it with former teammate Shaquille O'Neal who has three.

2nd Most Points In a Game

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles on the bench in the game with the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center on November 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 108-102.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly ac
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The NBA's greatest individual performance since Wilt Chamberlain dropped one hundred in a single game.

    It was an unbelievable night for the Black Mamba as he rained in three after three and nearly ever shot he put up was good.

    I bet even Raptors fans were cheering for him as he proved the meaning behind his self-declared nickname by attacking Toronto's defense with accuracy and speed. Either that or they just shook their heads in embarassment.

    Bryant led the Lakers to victory with 55 points in the second half and stunned NBA followers across the nation. I think it's safe to say that no one will ever come closer to Chamberlain's record than Kobe did on January 22, 2006.

5x NBA Champion

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 21:  Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (C)  acknowledges his fans with his four-year-old daughter Gianna Maria-Onore (R) at his side and the championship trophy while riding in the victory parade for the the NBA basketball champi
    David McNew/Getty Images

    With a little help from the big men, Shaq and Pau, Kobe now has enough rings for each finger on his shooting hand.

    With Phil Jackson as head coach, the Lakers three-peated, winning in the NBA Finals from 1999-2002.

    After a few rough years for the franchise, Jackson returned to the Lakers in 2005. Now they have a shot at another three-peat after knocking off the Magic in 2009 and beating the rival Celtics in game seven of the 2010 NBA Finals.

    There is no doubt Kobe is hungry for a sixth ring to tie Michael Jordan and former fellow Laker Kareem Abdul- Jabbar.

2x Finals MVP

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers holds both the Larry O'Brien trophy and the Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 83-79 in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on J
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Kobe won consecutive NBA Finals MVP awards after leading the Lakers back from a 13 point third quarter deficit in Game 7 against Boston in 2010.

    In the 2009 Finals, Kobe averaged 32.4 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.6 rebounds to secure the most valuable player award.

    He now has more Finals MVPs than league MVPs, but winning the award as a champion is much more satisfying.

Medals With Team USA

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    BEIJING - AUGUST 24:  (L-R) Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and Chris Bosh of the United States hold their gold medals after defeating Spain 118-107 in the gold medal game during Day 16 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymn
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Kobe has two gold medals from his time with Team USA.

    He received the first when they won the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, and the second after the U.S. defeated Spain in the gold medal game of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Lakers' Franchise Records

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    ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 13:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to the scoreboard during the game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena on February 13, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Bryant has more career points, a number over 27,000 that will continue to increase, than any other player in Lakers history. He also holds the record for most total points in the playoffs and in a season for a Laker.

    He twice made 23 free throws in a game, also a franchise record.

    I just mentioned the highlights because I'd be here all week if I were to list every Laker record that Bryant currently holds.

And He's Still Going

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 07:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles during the NBA Europe Live match between Los Angeles Lakers and Regal FC Barcelona at the at Palau Blaugrana on October 7, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Ge
    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Recent injuries have tried to slow him down, but Kobe has many solid years left in his career. He's tough enough to play through illness and pain, most admirably a broken finger on his shooting hand and he was still able to put up amazing numbers.

    Bryant proved that he can still throw down like the young guys in the 2011 All-Star Game, and he has the personal motivation to add to his trophy case in the next few seasons.

    When he finally decides to throw away his kicks, the game won't be the same without him and younger stars will compete to surpass him.

    However, the age old question will always be, "Who was greater, Kobe or Jordan?".


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