Kobe Bryant - 1997 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

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CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 8:  Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for one of his slam dunks that won first place in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest at Gund Arena on February 8, 1997 in Cleveland, Ohio.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2002  (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 8: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for one of his slam dunks that won first place in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest at Gund Arena on February 8, 1997 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2002 (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

It was 19 years ago, when Kobe Bryant was just 18 years old teenager.

In the NBA Dunk Contest 1997, we had many great participants: Chris Carr, Michael Finley, Ray Allen, Darvin Hamm, Bob Sura and Kobe Bryant.

Darvin Ham earned an invitation to the dunk contest only after Philadelphia 76ers rookie guard Allen Iverson opted out because of a sore shoulder.

At the 1997 All-Star Weekend, Kobe Bryant was just some young kid from high school, trying to make a name for himself. By the end of the dunk contest, everyone knew Kobe Bryant was a star.

This was the first of many awards Kobe would go onto win in his career including: NBA champion, NBA Finals MVP, NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Game MVP, All-NBA First Team, NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA scoring champion and Olympic Games.

After he won during his rookie season - NBA Slam Dunk Contest, he never participated again.