Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant on Life After the NBA: How He’s Inspiring a New Generation to Dream Big | Cydney Weiner (2024)

NBA champion Kobe Bryant is an Academy Award winner, New York Times best-selling author and CEO of Granity Studios, a multi-media content creation company.

His main focus these days is sharing what he’s learned with young athletes around the world. He’s also written a series of what he calls “sports fantasy.” His latest book, Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof, is the story of two children: the lowly born Rovi and the crown princess Pretia who uncover and battle terrible evil and discover their inner strength along the way.

1. Since your retirement from the NBA, you’ve really thrown yourself into passion projects centered around kids and sports. How has life changed for you since playing for the NBA? What is it about sports that has the ability to build confidence in young people?

I’ve had more time to focus on my other, more creative passions, like storytelling. My drive and work ethic is the same, but my energy and time are directed at crafting these inspiring and magical stories for kids.

Sports is the greatest metaphor for life. Through sports, kids learn key lessons such as teamwork, failure, and perseverance. Those are all things people experience early on and carry through in their lives. If being coached and taught the right way, sports can build confidence in kids because they learn to make mistakes, learn to get better and eventually have successes along the way.

2. You’ve recently authored a series of books for young adults (including your newest release, Epoca), with the intention of putting imagination back into sports. What’s the core message at the center of your books and why was it important to you to write them?

I created Granity Studios as a way of teaching valuable life lessons to the next generation–whatever they hope to do. The goal is to encourage children to develop their own inner magic and believe they can achieve the impossible. We aspire to do that in a fun way. If kids aren’t having fun, they’re also not tapping into their imagination. And that’s what we hope this new genre of storytelling–Sports Fantasy–can help tackle. By making sports more “fun,” we open up an entire world of valuable life skills for our children. Our stories center around sports but represent a competitive mindset about being the best at whatever it is you choose to do.

The messages at the core of the books are about determination, sacrifice, confidence, overcoming adversity, and identity. Each book is different and has its own unique set of messages, but these themes are central to all of our Granity titles. It’s important that young athletes and readers feel represented and have stories they identify with and can relate to. It’s more difficult to feel inspired by a story that has nothing in common with a person’s circ*mstance or situation. So, our books entertain and bring imagination back into sports, while guiding young people with characters who may be experiencing similar pressures, fears, and dynamics.

3. You’re also coaching one of your daughter’s basketball teams. What do you tell your players about pursuing their sports dreams? How can we support equality for women in sports?

Yes, it’s such a privilege to be able to coach the girls’ team. I tell my players that it takes commitment, determination, and a lot of patience, but I also encourage them to have fun and connect with that fun while playing. Youth sports have become too structured and the pressures kids face are too much. Sixty-two percent of children retire from sports early because they are no longer “fun.” I’m focused on changing that mentality with everything I’m building now, including coaching.

Equality for women in sports needs to start at the storytelling level. We need to provide opportunities to highlight the talent exhibited in women’s sports every day in order to help people better understand the athletes, their motivation and their vision. Once we can amplify their voices and better establish a connection to the players, we can start building better businesses around them–from salaries to sponsorships to post-playing careers.

4. What has being a father to four girls taught you about yourself and about family? About sports?

Being a father is the thing I am most proud of in this world; it’s my greatest accomplishment. I’ve learned so much, but perhaps the most profound thing has been the fierce, unconditional love you have for your children when you become a parent. I’m blessed to have had that experience four times now and there’s nothing more powerful in this world.

Being a dad has given me a different perspective on sports. I can see the effects on players who haven’t been taught the right way – physically, mentally and emotionally – and I want something better for my children. It goes back to why I’m so focused on storytelling in sports, as well as coaching. The passion for it all stems from my four girls.

5. What’s coming up for you? How are you planning to use your voice and your platform next?

In addition to our latest book, EPOCA: The Tree of Ecrof, we’ll publish new titles in 2020, including the second book in the Wizenard Series, titled SEASON ONE and our first official YA novel, GEESE ARE NEVER SWANS, will be published in the summer of 2020.

I plan to continue using storytelling as a vehicle to inspire and encourage today’s young people, particularly athletes, to persevere, follow their passions, have fun, work hard, and be the best version of themselves they can be.

Basketball Legend Kobe Bryant on Life After the NBA: How He’s Inspiring a New Generation to Dream Big | Cydney Weiner (2024)


What makes Kobe Bryant a hero? ›

Because of Bryant,NBA players are getting their achievement. Kobe Bryant impacted NBA through the achievements and speeches. His work in the NBA completed lots of rewards. Kobe Bryant was an important person in history because of his Achievements,Career,Challenges/Overcoming Obstacles.

What did Kobe Bryant do in his early life? ›

Bryant played both basketball and soccer while in Italy becoming huge fans of the Los Angeles Lakers as well as the A.C. Milan soccer team. When Bryant was 13 his family moved back to Philadelphia. Bryant attended Lower Merion High School, starting on the varsity team as a freshman.

What are some of Kobe Bryant's quotes? ›

Kobe's career in 24 quotes and 24 snapshots
  • ''The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do'' ...
  • "Everything negative -- pressure, challenges -- is all an opportunity for me to rise." ...
  • ''Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success.

Why is Kobe so inspirational? ›

His passion for the game fueled his dedication and inspired those around him. Leaders can learn from the importance of aligning personal passion with their professional pursuits. Kobe inspired millions of people around the world through his remarkable achievements, work ethic, and leadership.

How is Kobe Bryant motivational? ›

“If you're afraid to fail, then you're probably going to fail.” Kobe knew that taking risks and being willing to fail were essential to success. He encouraged others to embrace failure as a necessary part of the learning process. “The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win.”

How did Kobe help the youth? ›

“As one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Kobe's spotlight was brighter than almost anyone's, and he used it to help millions of kids. For 12 years he was an ambassador for After-School All-Stars, and he used his time and his resources to inspire our 90,000 kids and help build opportunities for them.

How did Kobe impact the world? ›

Kobe's model of excellence was also reflected in everything he touched, and that applies to the Lakers and the NBA as a whole. Even in retirement, Kobe Bryant's name meant hard work and inspiration to many people. That became part of American culture.

What made Kobe so famous? ›

Bryant immediately won over many fans early in his NBA career by becoming a must-watch player on Los Angeles Lakers teams that dominated the league. Beyond his success on the court, Bryant was elevated to new heights with his "Black Mamba" persona and an almost mythological reputation as a hard worker and leader.

Why Kobe has 2 numbers? ›

The significance of the numbers 8 and 24 in Kobe Bryant's career goes beyond mere digits on a jersey. Both numbers encapsulate different phases of his journey as a basketball player and as an individual. The number 8 symbolizes his early dominance and emergence as a prodigious talent in the NBA.

Is Kobe Bryant loyal? ›

"I hear the chatter of Kobe should ask out and he should go and play for a contender in this latter stage of his career," Bryant told Yahoo Sports. "But that's not what I do. I'm extremely loyal to the Lakers. "I believe in fighting through the tough times as well as enjoying the good times.

What does Kobe Bryant like? ›

Kobe thrived in the spotlight and loved being able to connect with people. He dedicated a lot of his free time to mentoring young people through sports, whether they were upcoming NBA stars or just skilled high schoolers who had a passion for basketball.

Who inspired Kobe Bryant? ›

The NFL Hall of Famer connected the dots between Bryant being someone who idolized Michael Jordan, then emulated him and had the gall to believe he could surpass the legend almost universally recognized as the greatest NBA player ever.

What did Kobe say about life? ›

As the NBA icon said best: "Hard work outweighs talent — every time." Gianna and Kobe Bryant. "You don't want to jump into something if you're not passionate about it." "Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged.

Why is Kobe Bryant a good role model? ›

Kobe Bryant always wanted to get better. He wanted to be the best he could in every aspect of his life that he could be. After his playing days he would take college courses on various different subjects. You see, Bryant saw the value in a college education; it was a part of his life he could improve.

What makes Kobe Bryant so special? ›

Skills and Athleticism

Kobe had an extensive repertoire of moves that allowed him to play great basketball. His excellent footwork, deadly jump shot, and ability to drive to the basket made him a skilled player who could dominate on the court.

What did Kobe Bryant do to change the world? ›

Bryant was big on helping young people achieve their goals and become leaders. In 2007, he became a national ambassador for After-School All-stars, a nonprofit organization that partners with schools to offer after-school programming for students from low-income families.

What are some good things about Kobe Bryant? ›

7 reasons Kobe Bryant will forever be a legend
  • He showed us how to be a great father. ...
  • He showed us how to handle adversity with dignity and class. ...
  • He taught us “Mamba Mentality” ...
  • He spoke many languages. ...
  • He was an NBA All-Star and champion Olympian. ...
  • He never let one thing define him. ...
  • His legacy inspired people.
Feb 7, 2020


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Frankie Dare

Last Updated:

Views: 6030

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Frankie Dare

Birthday: 2000-01-27

Address: Suite 313 45115 Caridad Freeway, Port Barabaraville, MS 66713

Phone: +3769542039359

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Baton twirling, Stand-up comedy, Leather crafting, Rugby, tabletop games, Jigsaw puzzles, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Frankie Dare, I am a funny, beautiful, proud, fair, pleasant, cheerful, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.