Kobe Bryant was an NBA basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. He played shooting guard with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association for his entire 20-year career (NBA). Bryant was an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.
He was widely recognised as one of the best basketball players of all time. Bryant has also twice led the NBA in scoring and is fourth all-time in the regular season and postseason scoring in the league. In 2020, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame after his death.
O’Neal was traded after the Lakers lost the 2004 NBA Finals, and Bryant became the team’s cornerstone. In the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons, he led the NBA in scoring. He set a career-high with 81 points in a single NBA game on January 22, 2006, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point performance.
Bryant was voted NBA Finals MVP both times he led the Lakers to consecutive wins in 2009 and 2010. He remained among the league’s best performers into the 2012–13 season, when he tore his achilles tendon at the age of 34. Injuries to his knee and shoulder cut his following two seasons short, respectively. Bryant announced his retirement following the 2015–16 season, citing physical decline.
‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty’ is a glitzy and glamorous look at the Los Angeles Lakers during their infamous “Showtime” era of basketball domination in the 1980s. The series focuses on essential players, including Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as well as different pivotal moments in the LA Lakers’ history. Kobe Bryant is a name that is connected with basketball fans and Los Angeles Lakers fans in general.
Given Bryant’s significance to the LA Lakers’ history and basketball prominence, it’s reasonable for fans to question if the former star player will feature in ‘Winning Time.’ However, Bryant is mentioned briefly in the fifth episode of the series through a baby. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re wondering if the kid is indeed Kobe Bryant!
Is Kobe Bryant the Baby in ‘Winning Time’ Episode 5?
Kobe Bryant was a professional basketball player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. He was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Joe Bryant, his father, also played in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers and the San Diego Clippers. Kobe Bryant entered the 1996 NBA Draft after a meteoric rise in high school basketball. At the age of 17, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers and signed his first professional contract.
Bryant immediately established himself as a key member of the Los Angeles Lakers team in the late 1990s after adjusting to life in the NBA. With the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant won the NBA Championship three times in a row from 1999 to 2002.
Bryant went on to win two more NBA championships later in his career. He has 18 NBA All-Star selections and is the all-time top scorer with the Los Angeles Lakers. Because the majority of Bryant’s playing career took place in the 1990s and 2000s, it’s logical that he isn’t featured significantly in ‘Winning Time,’ which is about the LA Lakers’ history but takes place in the 1980s.
However, in the episode 5 of the series, the show’s creators devised a smart technique to sneak in a short cameo of the player. The Los Angeles Lakers are playing the San Diego Clippers in their first game of the 1979-80 season in this episode. Bryant’s father was a member of the Clippers at the time and was involved in the game that the Lakers won in the final seconds.
However, before Kareem Abdul-Jabbar takes his signature skyhook shot to win the game, the teams take a timeout, during which viewers get a glimpse of a baby Kobe Bryant. Kobe was actually a little over a year old at the time. However, there is no historical evidence that he was present at this game.
The TV show is based on Jeff Pearlman’s book “Showtime,” which does not include Kobe’s presence during the 1979 season opener. As a result, the scene is most likely made up. However, this isn’t the only mention to Kobe Bryant in the fifth episode; as Spencer Haywood describes his lawsuit against the NBA, viewers see a few photos of the actual Bryant.
Kobe Bryant died in a catastrophic helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, at the age of 41. Given his significant accomplishments to the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s possible that the show’s creators chose this way to honour one of the greatest basketball players of all time.