“Kobe Bean Bryant is an American retired professional basketball player.” So reads the first line of Wikipedia. Being retired hasn’t sunk in yet for basketball fans, and I’m sure, not for Kobe. For now, it feels more like having witnessed him shoot the final tie-breaking shot in Game 7 of the National NBA Championship Game.
Bryant went out like a hero in his farewell game, played for a team that he stayed with during
his entire 20-year career. Kobe’s amazing “60 points by himself” finale made it clear why the Los Angeles Lakers never traded him.
Now that he won’t be returning to another training camp, questions are circulating about his future. What exactly does Kobe Bryant plan to do? At age 37, the mega-rich superstar has plenty of options. But he probably won’t go the way of his mentor and former Lakers superstar Magic Johnson.
"We don't have the same personality," Bryant said jokingly about Johnson. "I can't go around talking and smiling at people all day."
He also said he has no interest in being a coach or a general manager.
So, as far as high-profile sports careers go, that leaves sports announcing—a path successfully undertaken by former NBA players like Bill Walton, Reggie Miller, and Charles Barkley.
“He’s obviously smart and articulate and he would be a great candidate," Craig Barry, Turner Sports senior vice president and executive creative director told Sports Illustrated in January.
Meanwhile, Bryant has been quietly investing his millions for post-career life. He established Kobe Inc. last year, a sports-related venture that invested in Body Armor, an athletic beverage. He was an early investor in the Players Tribune, a website in which athletes write first-person narratives.
"If I'm involved in basketball, from a league perspective, it would be from an ownership perspective if at all," he said. "I'm not [feeling] any of that daily stuff. That's not happening."