In the wake of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death alongside his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people, much has been said about his path to on-court greatness in the NBA. Off the court, however, Bryant was looking to set up a whole new legacy for both him and his family. That business sense will help keep the superstar’s legacy alive and inspire others to remember him not only on the court, but in his business dealings, too.
What did Kobe Bryant do after he retired?
When Bryant retired from the NBA, many didn’t know what to expect from him in the future. Would he go into coaching or pursue ownership? Would he come back into the league like his idol, Michael Jordan? Imagining Bryant without basketball was hard for anyone to fathom, but Bryant didn’t see it that way.
Bryant had a reputation in the NBA as a player who was relentless on both sides of the floor. His work ethic was a major part of his legacy as one of the greatest to ever play, and that same “Mamba Mentality,” as he grew to call it, would carry over into the business world. As he did with Jordan in the NBA, Bryant began to look at leaders in the business world and learn what made them special.
“I’ve found at the core of it is a love for what they are doing and also understand that, as leaders, it’s their job to enhance what is around them,” Bryant said to ABC News’s Darren Rovell in 2017. “How they go about doing it, how they motivate and how they challenge is all different, but the end result is the same.”
Several NBA players have tried and failed in the world of business, while others have found lucrative success both during and after their careers. Bryant didn’t see his retirement from the NBA as an end, but a beginning to a new chapter in life where business filled the void that basketball had left.
Kobe Bryant’s business ventures
In 2013, Bryant began an investment firm called Bryant Stibel with businessman Jeff Stibel by his side. Through this company, Bryant was able to invest in major companies across the board, from Dell to international marketplace Alibaba. Bryant even had a stake in Epic Games, makers of the ultra-popular video game Fortnite.
Bryant founded a media company called Granity Studios, which helped him produce the Oscar-winning short animated film, Dear Basketball. He spoke often about his desire to get into the entertainment industry, although this particular dream was cut short by his untimely death.
His greatest investment, however, remains in the sports drink company BodyArmor, of which Bryant purchased a 10 percent stake in 2014 for $60 million. BodyArmor was later purchased by Coca-Cola, and Bryant’s share grew to over $200 million in value and, counting. All of this combined with over $328 million in career earnings, Bryant’s fortune will likely continue growing.
Kobe Bryant’s business legacy
Even in his playing days, Bryant was bigger than basketball. From his early days, when he tried his hand at music and the occasional cameos in television and movies, he existed on a plane that seemed different than most players. The fact that he spent his two-decade career in Los Angeles, where business opportunities are greater than most NBA markets, didn’t hurt things either.
Bryant leaves behind a legacy that speaks for itself in more ways than one. For fans, that legacy will always gravitate toward the clutch baskets and championship rings. For those who are looking to remember more, his off the court successes may loom just as large. Nothing will fill the void that Bryant left in his family’s life, but thanks to his smart business decisions, he will still be able to support them for years to come.