I’ve never done a tribute post on the blog before. I’ve done author spotlights, on known writers, who’ve long since shuffled off this mortal coil. Yet, never before has a reason presented itself to halt my planned writing and create something new. Something to commemorate the literary achievements of an individuals who’s light was dimmed too soon.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say at first. In the time it takes me to write this blog post billions of media outlets everywhere will have broken the story and shared the sad news. We frequently look at our entertainers and athletes as unbreakable. In fact my fiancée often jokes that today’s athletes are the modern day superheroes we should show homage to.
Yet here only 48 hours removed from the news about the fatal helicopter crash that claimed the life of retired basketball great Kobe Bryant and his teenaged daughter Gianna. We are all still reeling.
I could spend this post rehashing the tragedy, or chronicling the many stats about his sports career. But, this is Blu Moon Fiction and here we talk about books. So this post is dedicated to Kobe Bryant, the author, filmmaker and podcast producer. Who walked off of the court a basketball legend and entered the arena where his entrepreneurial spirit could really shine.
His first book was the Mamba Mentality, Mamba the nickname he’d earned on the court has become a mantra he’d lived by. Bryant’s personal perspective of his life and career on the basketball court and his exceptional, insightful style of playing the game can be found in those pages.
His ode to basketball, a poem titled, “Dear Basketball” which later became an Oscar -award winning short film, was a bittersweet chronicle of his childhood passion for the sport while also serving as his farewell as his body was no longer to support his desire to play. The short-film adaptation is still known as the best-known effort by Bryant’s production company, Granity Studios.
“Don’t think about handling finances. Don’t think about going into business. Don’t think that you want to be a writer — that’s cute. I got that a lot.”
Bryant was met with a lot of skepticism when deciding to leave sports and venture into other markets. He’d never let the doubters hinder his success. Partnering with Alibaba Group, a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology, he released his 2015 documentary “Muse” in China.
Kobe founded Granity, formerly Kobe Studios, his objective was on creating projects that married his love of storytelling and sports. Those who worked with him during that time, recalled the inspiration he drew from brilliant minds like; Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and J.K. Rowling.
Other projects from Granity, included the ESPN Plus sports analysis series “Detail,” written, produced and hosted by Bryant. He also produced “The Punies,” a podcast featuring fictional stories about a group of youths chasing big dreams in sports, and collaborated with author Wesley King on the Wizenard Series, a young-adult franchise that combined fantasy and sports.
Wizenard tells the story of the, West Bottom Badgers. Lowest-ranked basketball team in their league, living in the poorest neighborhood in Dren. New coach, Professor Wizenard arrives on the first day of training camp, promising to change things. Every player experiences unique and strange visions, challenging everything they thought they knew about basketball, their lives and their secrets off the court.
I do prefer to keep my books and my sports separate, because of this, I would never have known this series even existed if he hadn’t passed away. Before his untimely passing, Kobe had been working on another project with famed Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, who wrote Bryant’s favorite book, “The Alchemist.” The loss of his writing partner caused Coelho to tweet,
There is so much more that could be said about the award winning- athlete and entrepreneur, whose spirit and motivation served as a catalyst and even as a testament to others. His passing will be felt worldwide, but the mark he made on not just the world of sports but the world in generation will be a legacy no one could forget.
Which of these Kobe Bryant Projects Have You Heard of? Leave A Comment Below!