Mamba’s medium: how a basketball legend left his mark on the literary world

Courtesy of Radical Reads

As tragic events unfolded on January 26th, 2020, the world mourned the loss of #8, #24, Black Mamba, and, as most people called him, Kobe Bryant. Basketball lost a future Hall-of-Famer. Fans lost their role model. A wife and her kids lost their husband and father. Although a hole was left in many people’s lives, the lessons Bryant taught and the moments he created will be celebrated for years to come. Most know the accomplishments: NBA champion, NBA MVP, gold medalist, Oscar winner, and devoted parent (and coach) to Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, who dreamed to follow her dad’s footsteps into the basketball world. Less known to most was Bryant’s accomplishment of being an author.

To the left of Bryant is his trainer Tim Grover. In Grover’s novel Relentless, he said, “You don’t need Kobe’s athletic skills to attack your dreams the way he attacks his.”
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Bryant’s first introduction into the literary world came with a foreword written for his trainer’s motivational book Relentless, published in April of 2013. Bryant would then write another foreword for the 2015 autobiography of his former teammate, Caron Butler, titled Tuff Juice. (Goodreads) A bond that “remains as strong today as it ever was,” Bryant wrote of his time spent with Butler as teammates of the Lakers and the brotherhood that soon followed. Bryant also commemorated Butler for writing the book.

“I think it’s wonderful that [Butler] is sharing with the world his phenomenal journey and the life lessons he has learned along the way through this book. Hopefully kids will read it and see something in it for their own journey.”

Kobe Bryant in Tuff Juice

Before becoming an author himself, Bryant understood the power books had with reaching people, so it came with no surprise when, in October 23rd of 2018, he wrote a novel of his own called Mamba Mentality.(Goodreads) The memoir served as a reflection of Bryant’s hard work and a lesson for those reading, those who strived to share the same passion as the Mamba.

In Mamba Mentality, Bryant said, “From the beginning, I wanted to be the best.”
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Bryant didn’t stop there, starting the multimedia company, Granity Studios. The company’s goal was to create “new ways to tell stories around sports.” (Granity Studios) Under the studio, Bryant spent his 2019 publishing the books Training Camp, Legacy and the Queen, and Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof, along with the Oscar-winning animated short film, Dear Basketball.

Along with Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof, the books Bryant wrote centered around fantasy, adventure, and its relationship with sports.
Courtesy of Amazon

Unfortunately, the future of Granity Studios looks bleak with the passing of Kobe Bryant. However, the sequel to one of Bryant’s books, Training Camp, will release soon on March 17th, 2020, titled Season One. (Goodreads) Regardless, Bryant’s legacy in the literary world will live on, page by page.