Kobe Bryant says post-playing career will be different from Magic Johnson’s
Magic Johnson has dabbled in just about everything since retiring as a player.
He’s owned coffeehouse chains, restaurants, gyms, movie theatres, condominium complexes and, of course, small pieces of the Lakers (formerly) and Dodgers (currently).
Kobe Bryant isn’t entirely sure what shape his post-playing career will take, but it won’t involve being the next Magic.
“We don’t have the same personality,” Bryant said Friday. “I can’t go around talking and smiling at people all day.”
Atlanta forward Al Horford pokes the ball away from Lakers center Roy Hibbert during the first half of a game Dec. 4 in Atlanta.(John Bazemore / Associated Press)
Kobe Bryant high-fives some fans during the Lakers’ 100-87 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 4.(John Bazemore / Associated Press)
Lakers Coach Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant talk during a game against the Hawks on Dec. 4 in Atlanta. The Lakers lost, 100-87.(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)
Lakers forward Julius Randle tries to drive around the Hawks’ Paul Millsap during a game on Dec. 4 in Atlanta.(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)
Hawks guard Dennis Schroder passes the ball behind Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. during a game on Dec. 4. The Lakers lost to the Hawks, 100-87.(John Bazemore / Associated Press)
Thabo Sefolosha of the Atlanta Hawks drives around Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. during a game on Dec. 4.(Erik S. Lesser / EPA)
Hawks guard Jeff Teague pulls up for a shot against the Lakers during a game on Dec. 4 in Atlanta.(John Bazemore / Associated Press)
Kobe Bryant gestures to fans after the Lakers’ 100-87 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 4.(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)
Bryant was joking, but it was easy to envision his hard-charging, impatient ways carrying over into the business sector after he retired next April.
In fact, at his postgame news conference Friday, he made the shape of a small box with his hands and said, “Here’s your window,” pretending to talk to a prospective investor.
Bryant established Kobe Inc. last year, a sports-related venture that invested in Body Armor athletic beverage. He was an early investor in the Players Tribune, a website in which athletes write first-person narratives.
He again emphatically said he would never be a coach and also said he wasn’t interested in being a general manager.
“If I’m involved in basketball, from a league perspective, it would be from an ownership perspective if at all,” he said. “I’m not [feeling] any of that daily stuff. That’s not happening.”
Bryant, 37, had 14 points on four-for-19 shooting in the Lakers’ 100-87 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
In the now-it-can-be-told department, Bryant chose a unique time to inform Lakers Coach Byron Scott this would be his final season.
It was near the start of the third quarter last Saturday against Portland. They were talking about Bryant’s playing time.
“It just slipped out,” Bryant said. “We were talking about the minutes and I said, ‘It doesn’t matter, I’m not playing next year anyway.’ ”
Scott was stunned.
“I was like, ‘What? I didn’t think I heard you correctly,’ ” Scott said. “But he seemed at ease and at peace and he was smiling and he gave me a hug and he started laughing. I told him the next day, ‘You really messed me up with that.’
“I’m watching the game and I’m trying to coach the game and every now and then it would kind of pop in my mind. I can’t sit here and say that I was 110% focused on everything that we were doing. It was probably the weirdest game I’ve ever coached.”
After the game, a 108-96 Lakers loss, Scott asked Bryant whether he really meant what he said. Bryant confirmed it as legitimate and publicly announced his decision the next day.
Follow Mike Bresnahan on Twitter @Mike_Bresnahan
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