Kobe Bryant, a nine-time member of the All-NBA team, including five stints on the first squad (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007), is expected to be named league MVP on Tuesday, May 6. He finished as high as third in the voting in two previous seasons.
2 of 10Greg Nelson/SI
Kobe led the Lakers in points, assists and steals this season, while also engineering his club's 15-win improvement from the 2006-07 campaign.
3 of 10Greg Nelson/SI
Not Just A Passing Fancy
He may have two NBA scoring titles to his credit, but Bryant also has averaged at least 4.5 assists for nine consecutive seasons.
4 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Chasing Wilt ... For One Night
On March 22, 2006, Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors -- the second-highest single-game total in NBA history (Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 in 1962). Bryant made 28-of-46 from the field (including 7-of-13 from three-point range) and 18-of-20 at the free-throw line in the Lakers' 122-104 victory.
5 of 10Greg Nelson/SI
In Great Company
In 2007, Kobe became the youngest player to score 20,000 points (29 years, 122 days), edging Wilt Chamberlain by just 12 days. In fact, Bryant, Chamberlain and Michael Jordan are the only players to eclipse 20,000 points before reaching the age of 30.
6 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Dunk You Very Much!
Kobe Bryant won the Slam Dunk contest at All-Star Weekend in his rookie season of 1997, beating out the Timberwolves' Chris Carr and the Mavericks' Michael Finley.
7 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
The Scoring Machine
Kobe has averaged at least 25.2 points every season since 2000-01, just above his career scoring average (25.0).
8 of 10Greg Nelson/SI
Kobe and Hall of Famer Bill Russell
While Kobe is trying to win his fourth championship this season, Bill Russell is the NBA's greatest winner with a record 11 titles.
9 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Icons Of Their Era
Kobe ranked second in scoring this season behind LeBron James, who in February supplanted Bryant as the youngest player to reach the 10,000-point milestone.
10 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
The Teen Dream
Bryant was the first guard in NBA history drafted out of high school (1996 -- Charlotte Hornets, later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers).
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