Kobe Bryant Was Rumored to be a Famous TV Superhero

Throughout his life, Kobe Bryant seemed larger than life. His prowess on the basketball court made him one of the greatest ever, and his personality off of it made him subject to all sorts of rumors. One of the most bizarre rumors that had Bryant suiting up as a Power Ranger, perfectly encapsulated both where Kobe was in 2006 and how strange these rumors occasionally got. 

Kobe Bryant smiling, looking to the side, holding a microphone
Kobe Bryant | Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images

It’s morphin’ time?

In 2006, Bryant was at the height of his career. Not only was he coming off his legendary scoring season, but his popularity was never higher. With this popularity came a bigger media circus than he would have gotten elsewhere. After all, he was the undisputed face of the Lakers’ franchise following Shaquille O’Neal’s departure in 2004. 

Bryant was everywhere. Despite losing several endorsement deals three years earlier after his heavily-publicized sexual assault allegations, Bryant was front and center on television commercials, media appearances, and rumor mills across the nation. It was only a matter of time until these rumors went from potential moves to other teams to insane, non-basketball rumors that Kobe did something unlike anything he’d ever done. 

According to Hoops Vibe, a since-deleted post on the defunct BenMaller.com had Bryant suiting up in the upcoming Power Rangers series, Power Rangers Relic Hunters. 

The Power Rangers?

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In 2006, Power Rangers was already a cultural institution. Premiering over a decade earlier, the series saw a group of teenagers chosen by a floating head to protect the earth from a villain named Rita Repulsa. Like any other superhero, the teenagers had a normal life away from fighting crime, but when Rita attacked, they were forced to morph into mighty warriors hellbent on destruction. 

The show was based on a Japanese series with a similar premise, and the action scenes in the original series were taken directly from the source material. As the show expanded in popularity, however, the show took several forms. It became a film-franchise, a must-have toy line, and a favorite among people who loved the original show. 

The show never matched its initial success, but offshoots and film reboots keep coming out until today. Still, the series typically cast teenage actors who are relatively unknown, so casting a superstar like Bryant made little sense. While this rumor may have proven untrue, Bryant still had his interests in the entertainment industry. 

Kobe Bryant, the entertainer

A teenager who was sprung into the Hollywood spotlight when he was barely old enough to vote, Bryant went to the NBA’s premier franchise in the entertainment capital of the world. As a result, the opportunities for a career in the entertainment industry piled up. Bryant never took advantage of this in how his teammate O’Neal did, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t try. 

Bryant had the opportunity to appear in several television series as himself as a young basketball player, including the hit sitcom Moesha, according to TV Guide. On top of that, he got bitten by the music bug in the late-nineties and attempted to have a disastrous rap career. As his star began to rise, however, Bryant eventually stuck to basketball outside of offseason appearances on television programs and commercials. 

As Bryant’s career wound down, he started to look at life in the film industry. He was off to a good start with a short film, Dear Basketball, which won him an Oscar and served as his retirement letter to the game that made him millions. Before his death, Bryant had interests in expanding his footprint on the entertainment industry, but alas, that never came to be. 

Bryant’s Power Rangers rumors were little more than internet gibberish, but looking back, they show just how big he was at the time of this. Unfortunately, we’ll never know how big Bryant could have gotten in the industry after he retired.