There’s little doubt that Kobe Bryant’s strength in the face of adversity has made him a role model for adolescents and grown men alike, as he’s managed to bounce back from a potentially crippling controversy to become a sports idol to millions.

Kobe Bryant’s on-the-court prowess continues to improve as he ages, and it’s consequently not surprising to note that he was recently awarded the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player Award (which places him alongside such legends as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal). Though his presence on this list may have been unimaginable a few years ago, Kobe Bryant has tenaciously climbed his way back to the top.