Kobe Bryant: Phenom to NBA legend to retirement to death to Hall of Fame

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A loving father with his daughter

(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

The late, great Kobe Bryant will be inducted into The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. And by none other than his friend and mentor, Michael Jordan. Let's look back at Kobe's incredible career and life before he tragically died, along with his daughter Gianna, in a helicopter crash in 2020.

A Philadelphian phenom as a high school basketball star

(Eileen Blass-USA TODAY)

Just before he was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets (yup) and quickly traded to the Lakers

(AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)

Rookie season (1996-1997) and he averaged just 7.6 points per game in limited minutes

(VJ Lovero-USA TODAY Sports)

1997 Slam Dunk champion

(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

NBA champion (2000)

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

NBA champion (2001)

(AP Photo/Chris Urso)

NBA champion (2002)

(Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Kobe's 81-point game in 2006 is second only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game, so, yeah: Wow!

(Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports)

Bryant, an 18-time All Star, talks to Bill Russell before the game in 2008 when he was the league's MVP

(Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY NETWORK)

At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won two gold medals as a member of the U.S. national team

(Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

NBA champion (2009 and 2010) and both times named Finals MVP

(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

Celebrate good times, come on!

(Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

Kobe addresses the crowd after his final game in 2016

(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

Kobe had two jersey numbers retired, both 8 and then to ...

(Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

No. 24

(Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

Both numbers are retired and in the banners at the Staples Center along with other Lakers legends

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

The Bryant family at his retirement ceremony

(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

The Philadelphia 76ers wear jerseys with the numbers of the late Kobe Bryant (2020

(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

After his shocking death: Kobe's teammate Shaquille O'Neal hugs Vanessa Bryant during the memorial

(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

Vanessa Bryant speaks during the memorial

(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

Michael Jordan breaks down as he describes Kobe as like a little brother

(Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

Vanessa Bryant makes Michael Jordan break into tears as she speaks on behalf of him and her husband

(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

And finally, a reminder, that the two we're intense competitors, admirers and friends and all-time NBA top 5

(VINCE BUCCI/AFP via Getty Images)

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