Kobe Bryant Divorce: Los Angeles Lakers Star Will Thrive off Chaos

Another year, another draining distraction for Kobe Bryant.

The Black Mamba has built his Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Lakers on a foundation of drama and discontent, so what's to suggest he'll slow down now?

Granted, going through a divorce on account of marital infidelity is never an easy situation. Just ask Tiger Woods, Jason Kidd and...uhhh...Kris Humphries.

But we're talking about a guy for whom controversy is the norm. A guy who seems to feed off negative emotions—especially amidst turbulence.

Kobe's career first took off when he, at the age of 21, met the 17-year-old Vanessa Laine at a music video shoot. He enjoyed his first season as a bona fide superstar in 2000-01 after he and Vanessa married and his parents began what turned out to be a two-year estrangement from their high-profile son.

Bryant never quite got along with Shaquille O'Neal in LA, yet the two of them still managed to hang three Purple-and-Gold banners at the Staples Center.

The sexual assault trial proved to be a bit of a burden for Bryant, though the dip in his scoring numbers, from 30 points per game in 2002-03 to 24 per game in 2003-04, might just as easily be attributed to injuries, the presence of Karl Malone and Gary Payton on the roster, and the crumbling of the last vestiges of his venomous relationship with Shaq.

Bryant turned the sadness and disappointment of his wife's 2005 miscarriage into a season in which he led the league in scoring with 35.4 points per game—the high-water mark of his illustrious career.

Then came the summer of 2007, when Bryant first demanded that the Lakers trade him and then called for the front office to swap out Andrew Bynum for Jason Kidd. All Kobe did after that was win the NBA MVP award and lead the Lakers back to the NBA Finals with Pau Gasol by his side. He and his teammates subsequently parlayed the disappointment of getting han...

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