Kobe Bryant retired after a highly decorated career. Whether its ball-handling, dunking, shooting, or footwork, the Black Mamba’s skill set was second to none. He’s not just the former most electric and highest-paid player in the National Basketball Association (NBA), but also one of the most remarkable stars to ever take the floor both for the Lakers and in basketball history.
Bryant’s legendary career made him untouchable within the NBA family and the greatest of all time. The Black Mamba is the best physical embodiment of peak competitiveness the league has ever seen which is why the younger generation grew up idolizing, revering and respecting him. The beloved Los Angeles Lakers star may be gone from an NBA court forever but he continues to leverage on his fame, putting all of his energy into shaping a legacy and fortune. Here’s an update on Bryant’s life post-retirement.
When Did Kobe Bryant Retire?
Kobe Bryant’s NBA career began in 1996 with the Los Angeles Lakers. The shooting guard wore jersey No.8 for the first half and No.24 for the second half of his two-decade career. Not only did Bryant become the first player to be tagged “The Next Jordan”, but he was also the first player to spend at least 20 seasons with one franchise.
The Los Angeles Lakers star thrilled and took fans on a journey for 20 years. Halfway through his incredible career, Kobe switched jersey numbers neatly dividing the eras of his time with the Lakers. While the younger No. 8 Bryant won three NBA titles, the older No. 24 Bryant won two more before retiring.
Kobe Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016 after winning five championships (falling one short of Michael Jordan’s six NBA titles) and going to 18 All-Star Games with the Lakers. In addition to his career total stats of 33,643 points, Kobe is also famed as a league MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 15-time All-NBA member, and two-time scoring champion.
The legendary basketball player became widely beloved in Southern California, where he still lives with his family. He is not just one of the greatest players to ever wear the purple and gold jersey, but also the leading scorer in the Lakers’ history. On the financial front, Kobe Bryant earned an estimated $680 million during his playing career from his playing salary and endorsements, as against Michael Jordan’s $465 million tally. Bryant’s $680 million in total earnings also made history as the most ever by a team athlete during their playing career.
It, therefore, did not come as a surprise when the franchise icon’s honor was doubled up during a Lakers’ game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. The Lakers made history in the NBA at the halftime ceremony when both of the jersey numbers worn by Bryant were also retired. Typically, the team only retires numbers of players enshrined in the Hall of Fame but the Lakers decided to cut the formality for Kobe who isn’t eligible until 2021. In other words, the No. 8 and No. 24 will never be worn again in purple and gold for the rest of franchise history. Consequently, Bryant became the 10th Los Angeles Lakers star with a retired jersey.
The Lakers later explained that their decision to retire both jerseys were due to the fact that Bryant’s accomplishments in each of the jersey careers would have qualified him for the Hall of Fame. With the memorable moments that defined Kobe Bryant’s athletic career, there’s no doubt that the five-time champion is well on his way to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
What Kobe Bryant Has Been Up To Since He Retired From NBA?
The realities of Kobe Bryant’s retired life have not been hidden from the public. After retiring, the former NBA star did a lot of soul searching with the priority to discover what he loves to do best and his life has been great since then. He’s now found time to enjoy life and pursue ventures off of the court.
In his NBA days, the Black Mamba was historically famed for his insane work ethic which left him completely consumed by basketball. Again, he dedicated an immense amount of time to his 4 a.m. workouts and his strict diet such that the tales of his work ethic has become legendary and all part of NBA lore.
Post-retirement, the legendary basketball star has fallen into a great routine and remained “the most competitive guy in the gym”. Kobe surprisingly still wakes up before the sun to go to the gym at 4 a.m though he no longer performs on the court. The former NBA star’s family has always been his inspiration and Bryant is now better committed to his fatherly roles. Part of his everyday routine these days include early morning workouts (with his daughter Natalia), taking the kids to and from school, getting some breakfast with his wife, and going to the office.
Wondering why the retired athlete still maintains such a strict workout routine? Bryant admits that he let himself go a little bit when he first retired. He had to motivate himself to get back in shape by setting specific, measurable goals. For the father of three, the extra motivation for the training is also to teach his kids the essence of hard work.
Besides focusing on his family and aiming for size, the Black Mamba has also been busy with other projects. He is surely living the life by mentoring up-and-coming NBA stars, investing in athletics, entertainment, and tech. Moreover, Bryant’s animated short film, Dear Basketball — an ode to the sport he loves earned the former NBA star an Oscar Award in 2018, making him the first black person and the first athlete to win in that category.
Since Kobe Bryant retired, he’s also been keeping himself busy with coaching and business ventures. The basketball legend who is still very obsessed with winning now enjoys coaching his daughter Gianna’s youth basketball team. As an adroit businessman, he now runs a venture capital fund with partner Jeff Stibel, has investments in top sports brands like BodyArmor and owns a media production studio. Kobe is also exploring his creativity as an author. He has since written two books, The Legacy and The Queen, as well as The Wizenard Series: Training Camp.