Since retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers following the 2015-16 NBA season, Kobe Bryant has shifted his focus almost entirely away from basketball.
While reappearing in the spotlight every now and again for TV and radio appearances, Bryant has been much more focused on his entertainment brand.
Bryant has had a remarkable three years after retiring from his no-doubt Hall of Fame career. As a writer and producer of a number of books and other small projects, he has gone from an on-court winner to an Oscar winner, somehow dominating a world he had no experience in when he left basketball.
However, in all this success, Bryant has found little time to get back to Staples Center to take in a Lakers game. In fact, his jersey retirement ceremony in Dec, 2017 was the only game he’s attended in recent memory and even still, he left early. Bryant cites his family as the reason he hasn’t been able to make the trip as often as he’d like, saying that he can’t give up any more nights with them, according to Arash Markazi of Los Angeles Times:
“I have a life and I have my routine at home,” Bryant said. “It’s not that I don’t want to go [to Lakers games], but I’d rather be giving B.B. a shower and sing Barney songs to her. I played 20 years and I missed those moments before. For me to make the trip up to Staples Center, that means I’m missing an opportunity to spend another night with my kids when I know how fast it goes. … I want to make sure the days that I’m away from them are days that I absolutely have to be. I’d rather be with them than doing anything else.”
While it would be great to see Bryant in attendance at some Lakers games, he spent many years away from his wife and four daughters. In fact, he’s hoping for a fifth daughter in order to build an WNBA powerhouse in 20 years.
With all of these kids and two of them very young, it’s hard to take nights off to go watch the Lakers play. Bryant may eventually put himself back into the basketball world but for now, he has a comfortable day job as a producer and gets to spend every night with his family — something he couldn’t say for more than half of his life.