24

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Kobe.

Just the name alone makes me think of greatness, because that’s what Kobe is: an all-time great.

We first met in Orlando in 1995. He was a rookie and I was shooting for Upper Deck trading cards. I had him on a trampoline. This is something I used a few times with him — he was the best I’ve ever seen on a trampoline. We have worked together many times throughout his career. Kobe is an interesting, intelligent, driven, world-class basketball player.

I’ve shot a lot of athletes in my career, but a Kobe only comes along once.

Here are 24 of my favorite photos from a career shooting No. 24.

Iooss-54
1997.
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1997.
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1997.
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With Tyra Banks, 1999.
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2000.
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2000.
2001.
2001.
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With Shaq, 2001.
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2001.
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2002.
2002.
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With Shaq, 2002.
2002.
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2002.
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2002.
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With Phil Jackson, 2002.
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2002.
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2010.
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2010.
KobeSmile copy
2014
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2015.
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2015.

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Photographs via the personal collection of Walter Iooss Jr., NBAE/Getty Images, Sports Illustrated/Getty Images, and The Players’ Tribune.

Dear Basketball

From the moment I started rolling my dad’s tube socks. And shooting imaginary game-winning shots in the Great Western Forum, I knew one thing was real: I fell in love with you.

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