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Kobe Bryant’s Path To Billionaire Status Was Going To Be Paved In The Investment World + Nike Explains Why They 'Pulled' Kobe's Merchandise

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Life after basketball was looking good for NBA icon Kobe Bryant. The inspirational details on how he was headed down the path of billionaire status, plus Nike explains why Kobe’s products were yanked inside…

Kobe Bryant was a beast on and off the court creating a lasting legacy as one of the best to ever do it during his 20-year career as a Los Angeles Laker.

Before retiring from the game he loved, his on-court earnings ranked second-most of all-time. And he also bagged tons of endorsement deals – representing more than 20 brands since he entered the NBA, including Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz and Hublot. Outside of basketball, he invested his coins where he also found wide-ranging business success. 

There's a reason Dwyane Wade and more looked at him as a business mentor in addition to a friend. Kobe's mission was to inspire people to be amazing themselves, and studying his blueprint can do just that for many of us.

According to Forbes, he invested his NBA money in several business ventures, including the emerging sports drink BodyArmor and small startups like Art of Sport and HouseCanary.

Not long after he officially retired from basketball in 2016, he shared his $100 million venture-capital fund, in a partnership with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel, to invest in media, technology and data businesses.

Not only that, he published his own young adult books and even made history as the first pro athlete to win an Oscar for his animated short film, Dear Basketball. By the time he was 41, he had an estimated fortune of $600 million and was headed to billionaire status! And he was going to make it happen with the lucrative investment deals he had in place.

Forbes reports:

Bryant built his first fortune on the back of two decades of rich playing contracts and endorsement deals. His path to becoming a billionaire was going to be paved in the investment world, and his first big score, BodyArmor, represented roughly one-third of his net worth.

His VC portfolio included eco-friendly consumer products firm The Honest Company, media website The Players’ Tribune, video game designer Scopely and legal-services company LegalZoom.

In addition to building Bryant Stibel, Kobe was focused on storytelling in different mediums during his post-NBA career. In 2016, he founded a media company, Granity Studios, that published a series of books for young adults. He wrote and narrated the animated short film Dear Basketball, which won an Oscar in 2018.

Not only was he a smart business man, he was also multilingual and could speak Italian fluently. He could also speak Spanish and Chinese. Proving he could be the best at whatever he set his mind to, he also had his pilot license. As you can see, the worldwide icon was much more than just a basketball player and he was just getting started.




ESPN released a report that Nike (along with some resellers) had suspended sales of Kobe Bryant merchandise  after Kobe lost his life in a horrific helicopter crash that also took his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant's life along with seven other people.. The reason? Reportedly, to limit secondary resellers’ ability to stock up on his merchandise and then flip the products at higher price in the wake of the basketball star’s tragic death. However, that may not be the case since there are conflicting reports.

A Nike spokesperson told Forbes in an emailed statement that the company had actually sold out of all Kobe products instead of them pulling them, contradicting ESPN’s report.

A new colorway of the NBA star's Kobe 5 Protro sneaker was scheduled to launch February 7, 2020, but now Nike is reevaluating whether to proceed with the release or hold off. Fans will have to wait and see.


Photo: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

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