What Is Kobe Bryant Doing Now?
There was a time when Kobe Bryant’s presence in any basketball-loving household was nearly ubiquitous. The star athlete joined the NBA immediately following high school and spent twenty years with the Los Angeles Lakers, helping to secure the team a whopping five NBA Championships. He was awarded the 2008 MVP Award and racked up impressively high scoring stats throughout his career.
In 2016, Bryant retired, but not before scoring an amazing 60 points in his final game. Since then, fans may be wondering what the former superstar has been doing.
Bryant has a growing family
One thing that keeps Bryant busy these days is his personal life. He has been married to Vanessa Bryant for 18 years, and the pair have weathered several ups and downs, including Bryant’s sexual misconduct scandal in 2003.
Bryant was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel employee. He insisted that the interaction was consensual and settled a civil suit out of court. His wife stayed by him through the controversy but filed for divorce in 2011. The pair later reconciled.
Bryant is also surrounded by girls. He and his wife had their first daughter in 2003, and their second in 2006.
In 2016, they welcomed a third daughter, and in June of 2019, they welcomed a fourth little girl.
He has been reigniting old feuds
Another way Bryant has been keeping himself occupied is by rekindling the flames of old feuds. There is long-standing tension between Bryant and former teammate Shaquille O’Neal. The pair played together for many years beginning in 1996, and they accumulated multiple championships together in the early 2000s. However, their heated relationship was a contributing factor to a trade that sent O’Neal to Miami.
While the pair may have no longer shared a team, they still occasionally faced each other on the court until O’Neal’s retirement in 2011. In late August of this year, Bryant decided to revisit old controversies to claim that O’Neal was lazy. Ultimately, he blamed O’Neal’s lack of “work ethic” for preventing the team from claiming even more championships.
O’Neal responded with gusto. He accused Bryant of failing to be a team player. O’Neal stated it was Bryant’s own decision not to pass the ball more that kept him from getting the maximum number of championships. The fallout was extreme enough that Bryant went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to address it. He insists it was all meant in good fun and that there is no actual conflict between himself and O’Neal.
O’Neal later confirmed that “it’s all good” via social media.
Bryant has stayed professionally active
While he may no longer be performing on the court, Bryant is keeping himself busy. He created a short film titled Dear Basketball that earned him an Academy Award—making him the first black person and first athlete to win in that category.
The work he did on that project seems to have sparked a creative drive. He has a series of five novels in the works and says that his new passion is driving him: “I wake up in the morning, I can’t wait to write, I can’t wait to get to the studio.”
On top of all of that, Bryant still retains many lucrative sponsorships. Ongoing deals with Nike have seen limited-edition sneakers released even after his retirement. The former superstar continues to leverage his time in the spotlight to build a legacy and a fortune.
Bryant may no longer be broadcasting live into people’s living rooms all across the country the way he was when he was at the peak of his game. But the basketball legend has remained active and relevant and will likely continue to draw headlines and attention for years to come.