- Performance Alumni & Trainees
- Languages Spoken: English
Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. A heated feud between the duo and a loss in the 2004 NBA Finals was followed by O'Neal's trade from the Lakers after the 2003–04 season. Following O'Neal's departure Bryant became the cornerstone of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise. He led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons, setting numerous scoring records in the process. In 2006, Bryant scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second most points scored in a single game in NBA history, second only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962. He was awarded the regular season's Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in 2008. After losing in the 2008 NBA Finals, Bryant led the Lakers to two consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, earning the NBA Finals MVP Award on both occasions.
As of June 2012, Bryant ranks third and fifth on the league's all-time post-season scoring and all-time regular season scoring lists, respectively. He is also the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. Since his second year in the league, Bryant has been selected to start every NBA All-Star Game that has been held in the last fourteen years. He has won the All-Star MVP Award four times (2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011), tying him for the most All Star MVP Awards in NBA history. He is a 14-time member of the All-NBA team and an 12-time member of the All-Defensive team; he is also the youngest player ever to receive defensive honors. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals as a member of the USA national team. In 2009, Sporting News and TNT named Bryant the top NBA player of the 2000s (decade).