Kobe Bryant is among the players selected for the 2008 Beijing Olympics to represent the United States Olympic basketball team. He is a great player, has won several championships in the NBA, and has the maturity to lead the team to an Olympic victory. On August 8, 2008, the Beijing Olympics are set for the opening ceremony.
Kobe Bryant has had a great career. Something I find interesting is that when he was drafted out of high school in 1996, he was not near the number one pick in the first round of the draft. He was not even in the top ten. When he was selected, if I remember correctly, there were a lot of opinions that thought the Lakers selected him too high in the draft. I attribute that to the type of era that the NBA was in. In 1996, the NBA did not have as many players making the leap from high school directly to the NBA. In fact, Kevin Garnett was among the first players who ever made that leap. In 1996, Jermaine O'Neal also went straight from high school into the NBA. At that time in the NBA, most of the biggest names went to college before entering the league. Obviously, that has now changed. Players like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O'Neal succeeding in the NBA surely must have helped. That is one of Kobe Bryant's accomplishments and contributions that has helped the NBA and the sport of basketball in general. Sports are moving further and further toward a global stage and accomplishments like these help build the process.
From the time he was a rookie, he developed well. He blossomed into a starter in his second year in the league I believe (as he was a bench player in his rookie season) and that enabled him to adjust to the NBA. He went on to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to championships with Shaquille O'Neal and Phil Jackson as the coach. He now is always an MVP candidate and among the league leaders in scoring.
His basketball rookie cards received a welcomed increase in value last year when he won the Most Valuable Player award. They had been dormant for awhile and last year saw a spike in value. His rookie cards are very affordable, of course depending on how high end you want to go. His Topps Chrome rookie card from 1996-97 is an awesome card, and anyone who wants to obtain his rookie cards and thinks they will go up in value will benefit from having this card in their collection.
As the Olympics get underway, Kobe Bryant is one of the leaders if not the leader of the U.S. team. Look for him to provide several highlight reel moments and to be a major contributing factor if the U.S. is to win the world championship..
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