Kobe Bryant played with a chip on his shoulder when he entered the league. Coming straight out of high school, Kobe struggled during his first years in the association, and as the years went by, he earned his spot on the Lakers' starting lineup and as a star in the NBA.
Bryant knew he was meant to do much more than he was doing during his rookie season and took things to the next level in his second season in the league. The young shooting guard was on a mission, and even though he was coming off the bench, Kobe earned some big honors during that season.
To many people's surprise, Kobe became an All-Star that year, but that wasn't the best part. He directly made it to the Western Conference starters, doing something nobody else did before and has done since Bryant.
Kobe Bryant Was An All-Star Starter At 19 While Being The Lakers' 6th Man
Recently, a Redditor brought up that 19-year-old Kobe Bryant became a starter in his sophomore year in the league. "MapleCurryMurray" discussed the situation on the forum, explaining how hilarious it was, especially considering that Kobe didn't win the Sixth Man of the Year award despite being an actual All-Star that year.
In 1998, 19 year old sophomore Kobe Bryant was selected as a starter for that years all star game. However, he was also the Lakers 6th man. Even funnier, despite being the only all star starter as 6th man, he did not win 6th man of the year that season.
Bryant shared the backcourt with Gary Payton in that game, while the rest of the lineup was filled out by Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O'Neal, and Karl Malone. Kobe would finish that game with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist while shooting 43.8% from the field and 100% from the free-throw line.
That season, Danny Manning of the Phoenix Suns won the award, and he wasn't an All-Star and started in 10 more games than Bryant. The 90s are considered the greatest era of basketball, but you can't deny that things were also wild there.