Kobe Bryant Making Transition into Business
An NBA without Kobe Bryant has been weird hasn’t it? After all, the former high school kid turned NBA legend has been under the NBA spotlight for the past two decades.
What maybe be even more strange is that we have not even heard from Kobe on the NBA front since his retirement. A guy so obsessed with the game, has seemingly not been seen than his 60-point winning effort in his last hurrah against the Utah Jazz.
So other than appearing in a Ghost Busters film and admitting that he is satisfied with finally retiring from the game, what has the ‘Black Mamba’ been up to in the early stages of his retirement?
It seems like his basketball obsession has shifted over to the business world. No one expected Bryant to just sit around at home doing nothing for long anyways.
At the end of the summer, the retired superstar has announced that he has set up a $100-million venture capital fund in order to invest in technology, media, and data companies alongside partner, entrepreneur, and investor Jeff Stibel. Together the team plans to launch Bryant Stibel, which will be based in Los Angeles.
Bryant already has experience working with Stibel as the duo has already invested in 15-businesses as of 2013, which includes The Players Tribune and video game design firm, Scopely.
The team of Bryant and Stibel have already assignment partnership roles for their future investments. Stibel, best known as being the former chief executive of the public technology company known as Web.com, will be the veteran brain trust, as he has already made numerous investments and has founded quite a few technological and marketing companies.
Kobe on the other hand, will slowly transition into an investor and is expected to offer his creative and marketing expertise as well as his unconquerable work ethic. He was actually the one who designed the new Bryant Stibel logo.
“If you would have asked me 10 years ago, I would say I need to win now,” Bryant said. “Age tends to give you perspective. The most important thing I enjoy now is helping others be successful. I enjoy doing that much much more, that’s something that lasts forever, and hope they do that for the next generation.”
Ironically, former teammate, Shaquille O’neal has made similar investments in technology post-retirement. Carmelo Anthony as well has started Melo7 Tech Partners for largely early-stage technological investing. Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala has dabbled in this field of entrepreneurship as well.
The super competitor that is Kobe maintains that his entrance into this area of investments is unrelated to competition and doesn’t view both men as rivals.
“I think it’s interesting that the immediate reaction from people would be competitiveness between myself and others. I’m more interested in how I can help Shaq, Melo [Anthony] or [NBA player Andre] Iguodala.”
It’s hard to see Bryant not succeed as he enters a new stage of his life. The ‘Black Mamba’ may be gone for good, but Kobe Bryant is just getting started.