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11/30/2015 05:50 pm ET

The 24 Most Kobe Bryant Things To Have Ever Happened

Two decades of winning championships and ripping teammates.
Bryant goes up for one of the dunks that won him first place in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest at Gund Arena on Feb.&nbsp
Andrew D. Bernstein via Getty Images
Bryant goes up for one of the dunks that won him first place in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest at Gund Arena on Feb. 8, 1997, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Whether he’s your hero or your villain, there's no denying Kobe Bryant is one of the most dominant personalities in NBA history. Known for his clutch shooting and his confidence, his killer instinct and his cockiness, Kobe has made a career out of being unapologetically himself both on and off the court.

So with Bryant’s retirement officially looming on the horizon, we sought to honor the five-time champion for both his play and, uh,  distinctive personality, as he takes one last lap around the NBA’s 29 arenas this season.

Here's to you, Mamba. Behold, 24 moments when Kobe Bryant perfectly played the part of, well, Kobe Bryant:

  • 1 The moment when he proved once and for all that he does not have a fearful bone in his body.
    He refused to flinch at this Matt Barnes ball-fake.
    YouTube
    He refused to flinch at this Matt Barnes ball-fake.
  • 2 When he called his teammates “soft like Charmin" and left the court.
    Vine
  • 3 That episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" when he couldn't believe his teammates.
    He <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/24/kobe-bryant-jimmy-kimmel_n_6743072.html">shook his head </a>at his young
    ABC
    He shook his head at his younger teammates for celebrating a meaningless regular season win in the midst of a disappointing season.
  • 4 That postgame interview when he claimed not to know who Jeremy Lin was mid-Linsanity.
    YouTube
  • 5 The time Bryant was caught on tape begging someone to “Ship [Andrew Bynum's] ass out!”
    YouTube
  • 6 That time he called Shaq fat.
    <a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2468658-an-oral-history-of-the-2003-2004-los-angeles-lakers-the-first-super-team"
    Andrew D. Bernstein via Getty Images
  • 7 When he made a teammate cry by telling him that he needed to “reconsider” his “life purpose."
    <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/kobe-bryant-made-a-teammate-cry-2015-7">Oops x2</a>.
  • 8 That game when a reporter insulted Kobe's three-point shooting, so he drilled an NBA record 12 three-pointers.
    LA Times journalist&nbsp;T.J. Simers claimed in 2003&nbsp;that his daughter could shoot better than Bryant from beyond the ar
    Catherine Steenkeste via Getty Images
    LA Times journalist T.J. Simers claimed in 2003 that his daughter could shoot better than Bryant from beyond the arc. Kobe didn’t appreciate that -- so he hit nine consecutive threes against the Seattle Supersonics, en route to the 12 treys for the game -- still tied for the most ever.
  • 9 When a teenage Bryant tried to outduel his hero at his first All-Star game.
    YouTube
  • 10 When he scored 42 points in one half against that hero in 2003.
    YouTube
  • 11 That week in 2007 when he scored 50 points in four straight games (and 40 points in five straight games) while being double-, triple- and quadruple-teamed.
    After failing to score 50 in a fifth straight game, he characterized his 43-point performance on March 25, 2007, as an &ldquo
    Andrew D. Bernstein via Getty Images
    After failing to score 50 in a fifth straight game, he characterized his 43-point performance on March 25, 2007, as an “off-night.” The Lakers won all five of those contests behind Bryant’s offensive onslaught, leading then-Warriors coach Don Nelson to declare, “We held him to 43, by God!
  • 12 Those many, many times when Lakers head trainer Gary Vitti had to force Bryant to stop playing with broken bones, torn ligaments, sprained ankles and other injuries.
    According to one former teammate, whenever Vitti would turn his back, Bryant would <a href="http://awbutler.blogspot.co.uk/20
    Gary Friedman via Getty Images
    According to one former teammate, whenever Vitti would turn his back, Bryant would begin to go at it again.
  • 13 That time when Kobe may or may not have demanded a trade from the Charlotte Hornets to the Lakers before he had ever even played an NBA game.
    Instagram
    Whether or not that story is true, Lakers fans bless the day that trade went down.
  • 14 This photo of an 11-year-old Kobe competing against full-blown adults.
    Twitter
  • 15 When he knocked over, then stepped over, beloved teammate and “brother” Pau Gasol in an Olympic game.
    YouTube
  • 16 When he created his own nickname -- naming himself after a killer snake, of course.
    YouTube
  • 17 That time he summed up his entire, amazing, record-shattering career in one sentence: “I like shooting.”
    &ldquo;<a href="http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/8753837/kobe-bryant-back-philadelphia-feeling-fine">I like putt
    I like putting them up. It doesn't matter how it comes. I'm being honest.”
  • 18 This pass.
  • 19 When he was off all night and still drilled a 17-foot jumper in Game 7 of the Finals to help clinch his fifth title.
    It didn&rsquo;t seem to matter to him that he finished the title game having gone only&nbsp;<a href="http://lakersblog.latime
    It didn’t seem to matter to him that he finished the title game having gone only 6-of-24 from the floor.
  • 20 When, moments after tearing his achilles, he walked to the charity stripe and sunk two free throws.
    It was one of the greatest shows of resilience in NBA history.
    It was one of the greatest shows of resilience in NBA history.
  • 21 And of course, that time No. 8, Kobe Bean Bryant the Black Mamba, put up 81 points in a comeback victory against the Toronto Raptors.
    YouTube
    It’s been a helluva journey, Bean. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

 

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