words // Nick DePaula
images // Jotham Porzio
Long before The Decision, Kobe actually uttered these words as a 17 year-old senior at his own press conference in suburban Philadelphia.
(With shades on. Indoors.)
"I've decided to skip college and take my talent to the NBA."
And with that, Kobe Bean Bryant was off to the pros, just a few weeks after taking Brandy to his senior prom.
The transition wasn't smooth at all times for the Naismith Player of the Year who put up a wild statline of 30.8 points, 12 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 4 steals and 3.8 blocks per game during his final year at Lower Merion High School, but after an up-and-down rookie season, he was well on his way the following year. He was the youngest-ever to start in an NBA All-Star Game in '98, and the championships started to pour in just at the start of the next decade.
To celebrate his time both at Lower Merion High School in Philly and his legendary career with the Lakers, adidas Basketball recently dropped this "Prom To Pros Pack" of the adidas Top Ten 2000. If you recall, the Top Ten 2000 was the very first shoe that Kobe wore after the draft.