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.