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Kobe Bryant’s NBA career got off to a lackluster start 24 years ago today

When Kobe Bryant made his Lakers debut on Nov. 3, 1996, he was already a big deal.



a boy wearing a baseball hat: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant holds up his jersey during his introductory news conference on July 12, 1996. (Andrew Scholer / Los Angeles Times)


© (Andrew Scholer / Los Angeles Times)
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant holds up his jersey during his introductory news conference on July 12, 1996. (Andrew Scholer / Los Angeles Times)

Two months and 11 days after his 18th birthday, the star player from Lower Merion High near Philadelphia received two standing ovations from the crowd at the Forum before officially becoming the youngest person to ever play in the NBA.

On that particular night, however, the future Lakers legend did not live up to the hype. He played just 6 minutes 22 seconds and missed the only shot he took. He did pull in one rebound and had one blocked shot but also committed one foul and one turnover.

“It’s one of those things,” coach Del Harris said after the Lakers’ 91-85 win

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