Joseph Washington "Jellybean" Bryant (born October 19, 1954) is an American retired professional basketball player, current coach, and the father of former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. Bryant was the head coach of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks from August 22, 2005 until April 4, 2007. He returned to that position after Jennifer Gillom was fired by the Los Angeles Sparks on July 10, 2011. Bryant has also coached in Italy, Japan and Thailand.
Bryant coaching the Levanga Hokkaido in 2010
|Born||October 19, 1954|
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||185 lb (84 kg)|
|High school||John Bartram|
|College||La Salle (1973–1975)|
|NBA draft||1975 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14th overall|
|Selected by the Golden State Warriors|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|1979–1982||San Diego Clippers|
|1984–1986||AMG Sebastiani Rieti|
|1986–1987||Standa Reggio Calabria|
|1991–1992||FC Mulhouse Basket|
|2003–2004||Las Vegas Rattlers|
|2006–2007||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2011||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2013||Chang Thailand Slammers|
|Career NBA and Serie A statistics|
|Points||12,584 (14.8 ppg)|
|Rebounds||4,012 (4.7 rpg)|
|Assists||1,595 (1.9 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
After starring at La Salle University, Bryant, a 6'9" (2.07 m) forward, was drafted in the first round by the Golden State Warriors in 1975. Before the season started, though, he was dealt to his hometown team, the Philadelphia 76ers, with whom he played for four seasons. His 1976–77 Sixers team, featuring NBA all-stars Julius Erving, Doug Collins and George McGinnis, reached the NBA finals, but eventually lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 4 games to 2. Bryant headed back to the West Coast when he was traded by the 76ers to the San Diego Clippers, for whom he played from 1979–82. In the first game of the 1979–80 season at home in San Diego, Bryant slam dunked on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, however, despite that and a 46-point effort by Bryant's Sixer/Clippers teammate World B. Free (Then known as Lloyd Free), the Lakers won the game off a game winning sky hook by Abdul-Jabbar.
After a final NBA season with the Houston Rockets in 1983, Bryant headed to Europe, playing seven seasons in Italy with clubs of the Italian A1 League and the Italian A2 League. He played with the Italian clubs AMG Sebastiani Rieti (1984–86), Viola Reggio Calabria (1986–87), Pistoia (1987–89) and Reggio Emilia (1989–91). He twice had 53-point games with Pistoia, in the 1987–88 season.
Bryant continued to play into his fifties, appearing in several games for the Boston Frenzy of the fledgling American Basketball Association.
Bryant's first coaching position after returning from Europe was in 1992–1993 as the head coach of the women's varsity team at Akiba Hebrew Academy in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. In June 1993,he left Akiba and accepted an assistant coach position at his alma-mater, La Salle University. Bryant served as coach for the Diablos in the 2003 Season of SlamBall.
On August 22, 2005, Bryant, who had been serving as the assistant coach to the Los Angeles Sparks team in the Women's National Basketball Association, was named Head Coach of the Sparks, succeeding previous coach (and former 76ers teammate) Henry Bibby. During the 2006 season, he led the Sparks to a 25-9 record and a Conference Finals berth. However, in April 2007, Bryant was replaced as Sparks head coach by Michael Cooper, who had previously helmed the team in 1999–2004.
Bryant spent the 2007–08 season coaching the Tokyo Apache in Japan's professional basketball league the Japanese BJ League.
Head coaching recordEdit
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win–loss %|
|Playoffs||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win–loss %|
|Tokyo Apache||2007-08||44||27||17||.614||2nd in Eastern||2||1||1||.500||Runners-up|
|Tokyo Apache||2008-09||52||33||19||.635||2nd in Eastern||4||3||1||.750||Runners-up|
|Rera Kamuy Hokkaido||2010-11||22||6||16||.273||Fired||-||-||-||–||-|
|Rizing Fukuoka||2014-15||32||9||23||.281||9th in Western||-||-||-||–||-|
Bryant is married to Pam Cox, sister of former NBA player Chubby Cox. They have two daughters and one son: Sharia, Shaya, and Kobe. Kobe has won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. He also is the uncle of professional basketball player John Cox IV.
- "ESPN.com – WNBA – Bryant out, Cooper Back in as Sparks Coach". ESPN.
- "The evolution of Kobe Bryant – Ian Thomsen – SI.com". CNN. 2008-06-04. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- Bryant was traded for what eventually turned out to the first pick in the 1986 NBA draft, although prior to the draft the 76ers had traded the pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who selected Brad Daugherty. 
- Charry, Rob (2004-02-27). "Coach Bryant? Akiba Once Led by Kobe's Dad". The Forward. The Forward. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- "Bryant Returns to LaSalle as Assistant". Philadelphia Daily News. Philadelphia Daily News. 1993-06-24.
- Maffioli, Luca (2009-07-03). "Joe Bryant nuovo coach di Rieti" (in Italian). Sport Blog. Archived from the original on 2010-09-27. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
- Bangkok team hires Kobe’s dad Archived 2012-01-13 at the Wayback Machine
- Bryant out as Rizing Fukuoka coach