Kobe Bryant’s New Career Path – Venture Capitalism

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Sports icons like the Michael Jordan have been known to undergo hard times emotionally after they are separated from their sport. Retirement is taking away the daily routine they have been used to their entire lives. Since childhood, the majority of a professional athlete’s life has been dedicated to doing everything possible to become the best at their respective sport. Early morning workouts, multiple training sessions and high intensity workouts are the make-up of a typical day in the life of an elite athlete.  When the time comes that they are forced to move on, where do they go? What do they do next?

After 20-years, 18 All-Star appearances, and 5 NBA championships, Kobe Bryant is best known for his intense preparation in training. In 2016, the Black Mamba retired from the NBA, but his next pursuit was unknown to the public. Through his life, Kobe Bryant has been an advocate for education. After living in Italy for a portion of his childhood, Bryant became fluent in Italian and Spanish. He is even rumored to be very knowledgeable of the Chinese culture. In everything that he does, Bryant has an internal thirst for knowledge that is excelled by his passion to be the best in everything he does.

In the world of venture capitalism, some elite level investors are shy to deal with former professional athletes. Chris Sacca, billionaire Silicon Valley investor, talked in a recent Forbes article about professional athletes. He believes there is stigma against them, that they often lack the long-term view of partnership in their investing that most venture capitalists look for.

Since Kobe Bryant has entered retirement, he sought out the expertise of Chris Sacca. The first encounter between the two almost never took place. Due to his lack of basketball knowledge and general stereotype of wealthy professional athletes, Sacca did not have high expectations for the meeting.  He left Bryant with a

homework assignment that he was certain would cause him to dismiss any of Kobe Bryant’s future inclinations to meet with him. Chris Sacca sentBryant articles, TED-Talk videos and other media to try and intimidate Bryant with an overwhelming view of what investing is. Sacca was startled when Bryant sent him multiple texts around 3am in the morning. The texts were inquiries about different companies and concepts that he had been tasked to learn about. For the next few months, Sacca became familiar with receiving late night texts from his new friend that his wife made a joke that he was cheating on her with Kobe Bryant. The late-night texts were received well. Sacca appreciated Bryant’s dedication to completing the tasks he was assigned and admired his relentless work ethic and passion for learning new things. Sacca agreed to mentor him, recently connecting him with Jeff Stibel, an up-and-coming entrepreneur that recently partnered with Bryant in a 100-million-dollar business venture with him that they call “13”.

The investment fund founded by Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel is the tangible evidence of Bryant’s new career. The origin of the name behind the fund is symbolic to the number Bryant was selected in the 1996 NBA Draft.  Kobe Bryant wants to use the number to act as a constant reminder himself, that he will not take being the 12th best. He will not accept being number 13 as the defining moment to his career. In his NBA career, he was willing to sacrifice everything in order to be the best, and wants to carry over that same mentality to his business career. The fund invests in media and technology companies that Bryant and Stibel view as a possible opportunity to impact the world for the greater good.

It is not surprising that Kobe Bryant has had a hard time forgetting the daily routine that elevated him to hall-of-fame status in basketball. Obsession has become part of Bryant. It is what allows for him to become successful in anything that he does.

Everyone wants to achieve success, it would be strange if someone did not desire to be the best at what they do or make an impact on others. Not everyone is able to obtain the physical fruition of the goals they set in their mind. The only way for that goal to become a reality is through constant routine, and commitment to the goal set by an individual.

Kobe Bryant has long been known for his commitment on and off the court. His commitment to seeing his goals through is unmatched. The pinnacle of an individual’s hunger for success can be seen when he was asked what it was like winning his first NBA Championship.  When most people would feel content with their goal, Bryant said, “I can remember winning the championship and kinda being like, OK, now what, what happens now? … celebrating, waving champagne bottles around, OK… and outside of that, it was ‘OK, now what?’ “.

Results will not come if there is no hard work and commitment behind them. Kobe Bryant’s entire life is a testament to the notion it isn’t possible to fake that level of commitment – the process it takes to achieve success is far too long. A week, month, or year of hard work may yield results. The kind of results that change lives are founded on multiple years of a daily commitment to a goal. With knowledge, Bryant was able to build upon his foundation and grow into anything he puts his mind to. Not only is he committed to himself, but he has a newfound passion to help other retired NBA players achieve financial success in the business world. He wants to help mentor players into finding success in the remaining 40-50 years of their lives. Where will he go from here?

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