To celebrate his new namesake holiday, a look at how he’s redefining the pro-athlete’s second act
Poet Kobe Bryant has tech world ambitions. Image via Christopher Johnson (cc)
When Kobe Bryant decided to stop playing professional basketball last season, many wondered how the Lakers legend would spend his time. For the most part, Bryant has responded by exploring his creative side: writing poems, suiting up for a Ghostbusters commercial, and developing an animated film with Sports Illustrated.
On August 23, the day before Los Angeles honored the retired star with a Kobe Bryant Day, the 18-time All-Star informed The Wall Street Journal about his long-term scheme: building a tech empire. In the tradition of past NBA-greats-turned-investment-moguls David Robinson and Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant launched a $100 million venture capital firm with neuroscientist and entrepreneur Jeff Stibel.
Bryant and Stibel say their focus is on technology, media, and data, joining a growing group of modern NBA stars taking an interest in Silicon Valley. New York Knicks guard Carmelo Anthony and reigning MVP Stephen Curry both recently announced tech startup investments themselves.
Bryant has reportedly been dabbling in the space since 2013, racking up a portfolio of 15 companies. These include the athlete-authored website The Players Tribune, mobile game company Scopely, buzzy juicing machine manufacturer Juicero, and an assortment of software services. We charted the 13 made public by Journal. Take it as free investment advice.