35 Things You Didn't Know About Kobe Bryant

Do you really know The Black Mamba?


Kobe Bean Bryant—one of the most loved and loathed players in the NBAturns 35 today. The 15-time All-Star has spent all of his adult life in the NBA and public eye. From his days as a superstar at Lower Merion where he took Brandy to prom back in ‘96 to his five NBA championship titles to the Colorado sexual assault case, the future Hall of Famer's life is pretty much an open book. Or is it?

Though stans may think they know everything about Kobe, there have to be a few little-known tidbits about his life that will surprise them. From the fact that he was named after a Japanese Steakhouse in Philadelphia to saying he would've attended UNC had he chosen to go to college, here are 35 Things You Didn't Know About Kobe Bryant

Disclaimer: If you find yourself knowing the vast majority of these then you may want to check this list out.

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His parents named him after a Japanese steakhouse in the Philadelphia suburb of King of Prussia.

35 things kobe bryant kobe beef name

He didn't beat his father in one-on-one until he was 16.

35 things kobe bryant beat father 16

In 1996 Kobe became the youngest player to play in the league at 18 years, 2 months, and 11 days. This record was later passed by Jermaine O'Neal and later Andrew Bynum.

35 things kobe bryant 1996 youngest nba

Hype Williams directed the never-released video for his debut rap single, "K.O.B.E."

35 things kobe bryant hype williams

He met his wife Vanessa on the set of the "K.O.B.E." video shoot.

35 things kobe bryant met vanessa kobe video shoot

He once showed up seven hours early to a Team USA scrimmage to practice.

35 things kobe bryant seven hours late team usa

His signature Nike shoe was influenced by soccer cleats.

35 things kobe bryant nike cleat inspired

He chews on his jersey when his mouth gets dry.

35 things kobe bryant chews on jersey

He's been an AC Milan fan since growing up in Italy.

35 things kobe bryant ac milan fan italy

As a child soccer player, he played goalkeeper because of his lanky build.

35 things kobe bryant soccer goalkeeper

He was the first guard taken straight out of high school.

35 things kobe bryant first guard high school

Bruce Lee is one of his biggest basketball influences.

35 things kobe bryant bruce lee

He hates dog poop.

35 things kobe bryant hates dog poop

When he and Vanessa started dating, her high school made her finish her senior year from home.

35 things kobe bryant vanessa kobe

Pressed for practice time and space in Italy, he would shoot around during halftime at his father's games in Italy.

35 things kobe bryant italy fathers game

His NYC streetball nickname is "Three Rings."

35 things kobe bryant three rings

His middle name, "Bean," comes from his father's nickname "Jellybean."

35 things kobe bryant joe jellybean bryant

Growing up, his favorite soccer player was Marco van Basten.

35 things kobe bryant marco van basten

He once challenged Toronto Raptors guard Alvin Williams to a rap battle in the lobby of the Hilton.

35 things kobe bryant alvin williams

The Clippers didn't draft him with the 7th pick in the 1996 Draft because they didn't think the city of L.A. would take them seriously.

35 things kobe bryant la clippers

He appeared in Destiny's Child's "Bug A Boo" video.

35 things kobe bryant destinys child

He had three of his own basketball video games in the NBA Courtside franchise.

35 things kobe bryant video game

Bryant's middle name is different from what appears on his birth certificate and other documents.

35 things kobe bryant middle name

He speaks fluent Italian.

35 things kobe bryant fluent italian

He was the last bench player to be selected to an All-Star game (1998).

35 things kobe bryant bench player all star

Canibus was his favorite rapper growing up.

35 things kobe bryant favorite rapper canibus

As a battle rapper growing up in Philadelphia, he called himself "The Eighth Man."

35 things kobe bryant eighth man

While recording his debut rap album in 1998, he lived with Steve Stoute.

35 things kobe bryant steve stoute

His original number (8) is what you get when adding up his ABCD Camp number (143).

35 things kobe bryant number 8 camp

He holds the record for most consecutive All-Star selections (15).

35 things kobe bryant all star game

For most of his career in high school, Bryant wore the number 33 but when he entered NBA he switched to number 8.

35 things kobe bryant high school number 33

Mike D'Antoni was one of his favorite players growing up.

35 things kobe bryant mike d antoni favorite

He says he would've gone to UNC over Duke had he chosen to go to college.

35 things kobe bryant top unc college

His personal Top 5 of all time includes: Magic, Jordan, Bird, Russell and Kareem.

35 things kobe bryant top 5 johnson bird

He took Brandy to the prom.

35 things kobe bryant brandy prom

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