Q&A: Anthony Rizzo on working with Kobe Bryant and who he'll let wear his World Series ring

Add this to the cool list of things that happened to Chicago Cubs star Anthony Rizzo in the past six months: He worked with creative director Kobe Bryant on the latest commercial for sports drink  BODYARMOR, which debuted this week.

Kobe Bryant, maybe you’ve heard of him.

Rizzo and Bryant are part of the same sports fraternity now too. They’re champions. While Kobe has a few more rings, Rizzo is hungry for more. In fact, he seems to care more about getting another ring than what he’s actually going to do with the first one. Although, keeping with his kind-hearted persona, Rizzo brings his to the local children’s hospital and lets kids try it on. What a guy!

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We talked to Rizzo about working with Kobe, about his new ring, about his buddy David Ross’ performance on “Dancing With the Stars” and whether, in a BODYARMOR showdown, he could beat Mookie Betts in bowling or strike out Mike Trout.

Question: Kobe Bryant is the creative director on these spots. Did you actually work with him and, if so, did he show you all of his rings?

Anthony Rizzo: I didn’t see all the rings, but I think it’s really cool to be working with Kobe and to be able to see a company like BODYARMOR just grow, as it deservingly should because of the product, how good it is, how natural it is. And it tastes good. I’ve been drinking sports drinks my whole life and I’ll probably drink them the rest of my life.

Kobe’s pretty intense. You’re pretty chill. How do the two of you mesh?

Anthony Rizzo: I’m chill when I’m not doing my thing. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work. And I think that’s a big understanding among athletes, who you are on and off the court can be completely different, but once you turn that switch on, it’s time to focus and work. That’s why I like this campaign so much, because when it’s time to work out, you’re basically obsessed. It’s your obsession and it comes naturally.

Anthony Rizzo worked with Kobe Bryant in the new BODYARMOR ad. (Special to Yahoo Sports)
Anthony Rizzo worked with Kobe Bryant in the new BODYARMOR ad. (Special to Yahoo Sports)

Was it better to work with Kobe on this spot or Eddie Vedder on the last Bryzzo spot?

Anthony Rizzo: It’s totally different. It’s amazing to work with both Hall of Fame people in their own respect.

In the World Series ceremony last week, you got some serious time with the trophy. Did you go for that or did that just kinda happen?

Anthony Rizzo: The Cubs came to me and said that they wanted me to carry the trophy out. It meant a lot. It was a really special moment for me. The history of the Chicago Cubs, I’ve been here for a few years now, to see us grow as an organization, Wrigleyville, the fans, the new era of Cubs fans, it’s amazing.

Anthony Rizzo hoists the Cubs' World Series trophy. (AP)
Anthony Rizzo hoists the Cubs' World Series trophy. (AP)

Who’s the first person you let try on your ring?

Anthony Rizzo: My dad. But I let whoever. I showed it to the bellman at my building. It’s a really cool piece of history and I think to let people get their hands on it, it’s important to me.

So how many people are we talking? Potentially there’s a lot of people that would want to come up to you and wear your ring.

Anthony Rizzo: I just visited the children’s hospital today and I brought it in and let some of the kids hold it and put it on. And their parents. It’s a World Series championship ring. I don’t think anybody’s just going to run away with it.

(Chicago Cubs)
(Chicago Cubs)

I’m curious though, you guys get your ring before the game, then you go out and play game after. So what happens to the ring. Do you put it in your locker and are you worried that somebody’s gonna run off with it like Tom Brady’s jersey?

Anthony Rizzo: We had to actually sign for the ring afterward, for the insurance and everything. So we had to wait until after the game to officially have it our possession. So they just took it back and put it in a room for us.

How often do you plan to wear it?

Anthony Rizzo: Probably not that much, but I don’t know. I have no idea. I don’t have any urgency to wear it. I have a lot more urgency to get another one.

Out of everything that’s happened to you in the last six months or so, who’s the most random person to hit you up asking for something? Some person you don’t remember from high school? A third cousin you didn’t know you had?

Anthony Rizzo: No one really. I’m not really good at answering my phone as it is. Anyone that talks to me on a daily, weekly or monthly basis throughout the year, that’s who I always talk to. All the outsiders, I don’t even really mess with.

Do you guys actively watch “Dancing With the Stars” in the clubhouse, like for real?

Anthony Rizzo: I’m actively watching it. It’s always on when we’re playing it. I got home [the other] night and rewatched it. It’s fun. It’s fun to watch David and Lindsey do their thing.

David Ross dances with his partner Lindsay Arnold on
David Ross dances with his partner Lindsay Arnold on

Do you think he’s going to get kicked off? It sounded like this week wasn’t the best for him.

Anthony RizzoI don’t think he’s gonna get kicked off, but I think he needs to step his game up.

Do you text him or call him after?

Anthony Rizzo: I text him a lot. He might be in Chicago today. If I see him, I’ll rib him a little bit.

Here’s a question about your fellow BODYARMOR people: Do you think you would have a better chance of beating Mookie Betts in bowling or striking out Mike Trout?

Anthony Rizzo: Striking out Mike Trout. Mookie Betts bowls 300. On any given night as a hitter you can be off. I always try to say I can pitch, but I probably can’t. It wouldn’t be easy to do, I’d probably have to face Trout like 100 times. But if bowled 100 times with Mookie Betts, I think he’ll beat me every single time.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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