With the end of Kobe Bryant’s career seemingly around the corner, many have questioned the five-time champion on what his plans are upon retiring. Though Bryant was at times seen coaching while sidelined by injury in recent seasons, he has expressed little to no desire in pursuing a coaching career once he is done playing. Bryant owns his own charity and website and according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, he’s added business owner to his portfolio.
Bryant has formed Kobe Inc., a business aimed at the sports industry as Rovell reports:
We want to own and help grow brands and ideas that challenge and redefine the sports industry while inspiring,” Bryant said. “If it doesn’t have the limbs of the sports industry, which I understand extremely well, then I probably won’t touch it.”
Bryant has often been at the forefront of advancement with respects to sports medicine. He infamously flew to Germany to get treatment on his knee at a time when many players had yet to entertain the though of receiving treatment overseas. Though Bryant states he has thought about future endeavors since 2000, he credits his recovery from Achilles surgery as a time when he placed more focus on his post-career plans, according to Rovell:
I have always had ideas and always had a vision of where I wanted to go going back to 2000, but they are just ideas,” Bryant said. “Now, once the Achilles injury took place, I’m sitting at home for months not moving, a couple things set in. One is that there is only so many Modern Family episodes a person can watch. And then two, what do I do now?”
Rovell reports Kobe Inc.’s first investment will be in BODYARMOR, a beverage that claims it can provide more potassium with less sodium than competitor’s drinks. Bryant’s intensity on the court has carried over to his ventures off of it and with that mentality, Kobe Inc. will likely spearhead changes in the sports industry.
As for Bryant’s success on the court this season, it was virtually nonexistent as he went down with a fractured tibia in just his sixth game back from the Achilles injury. The fracture was initially believed to sideline Bryant for approximately six weeks, but each evaluation that followed the prognosis further pushed back the date of a possible return. Eventually, due to the swelling in the knee not subsiding, the Los Angeles Lakers announced Bryant would not return this season.
VIDEO: Kobe Bryant On ESPN Conversation