Kobe Bryant was 'just getting started on the rest of his life' before his tragic death

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Ethan Cadeaux
·3 min read
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Kobe was 'just getting started on the rest of his life' before death originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

For two decades, Kobe Bryant was one of the best basketball players in the world. The Los Angeles Lakers great won five NBA titles, was an 18-time All-Star and earned both league MVP and Finals MVP honors during his 20-year career.

Following Bryant's retirement in 2016, the world truly got a glimpse into other aspects of his life: his family, his kids, his passions. It's why his tragic death on Jan. 26, 2020, remains so devastating to many, because Bryant had so much more to give.

During NBC Sports Washington's Roundtable on Kobe Bryant, both Jason Smith and Drew Gooden touched on Bryant's legacy off the basketball court, one that was tragically cut short.

"Kobe was many things, but being a basketball player was his main attribute in life. But then, when he gets done with basketball, he goes and wins an Oscar for a short film. He self-taught himself how to play the piano. He was just getting started on the rest of his life; he was not just a basketball player," Smith said.

Bryant's competitive mentality on the floor was a major reason why he's considered one of the best players in NBA history. Yet, what's just as impressive is how the Lakers legend brought that same edge to everything he accomplished in life.

"His competitive mentality to be the best at anything he put his mind to was who Kobe Bryant was," Smith said. "The fact that we did not get to see the rest of the Mamba Mentality, the Kobe Bryant legacy, I feel like we all got jipped. That's why when you hear the news that day, you have that sucker punch feeling in the gut because he had so much more to give."

One aspect of Bryant's life that wasn't public knowledge was his business interests. Bryant invested in Epic Games and Ali Baba, among others, and also had a venture capitalist firm that controlled billions of dollars in assets.

"We kind of forget, because he never talked about all the stuff he was invested in," Gooden said. "He was a huge investor, a businessman. I don't think he gets the notoriety of being an entrepreneur and a philanthropist, along with making movies, short films, doing children's books...You didn't hear all the stuff he was invested in until his estate was divided up after his passing."

After Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016, he prioritized his family life. The Lakers legend dedicated plenty of time to his wife, Vanessa, and four daughters, a role model to many across the world.

"The fact that he had a beautiful family, a beautiful wife, kids, it's just unreal and unfathomable for me. I always take every day as a positive and the positive out of everything. Just to think about everything Kobe Bryant accomplished: winning championships, winning Oscars, I can't wrap my mind around that at all."

As devastating as Bryant's death was to his family and many others across the world, the Mamba Mentality and his legacy will live on forever.

"He was just getting started. I think his story was not over, it's still not over, and his legacy will continue to live on through his family," Gooden said.

Watch more from NBC Sports Washington's roundtable on Kobe Bryant Tuesday night at 7 PM on Wizards Pregame Live.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
LA Lakers
+300+9.5O 219.5
Utah
-385-9.5U 219.5