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Kobe Bean Bryant is an American All-Star shooting guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA) who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant is the only son of former Philadelphia 76ers player and former Los Angeles Sparks head coach Joe "Jellybean" Bryant. His parents named him after the famous beef of Kobe, Japan, which they saw on a restaurant menu. Bryant rose to national prominence in 1996 when he became the first guard in league history to be drafted out of high school, and led a wave of high school basketball players skipping college for the NBA. Bryant and then-teammate Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. Since O'Neal's departure following the 2004 season, Bryant has become the cornerstone of the Lakers' franchise, and was the NBA leading scorer during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.