Kobe Bryant on His Harry Potter-Meets-Basketball Book Series, Coaching His Daughter

Kobe Bryant on His Harry Potter-Meets-Basketball Book Series, Coaching His Daughter

January 30, 2020 100 By Kailee Schamberger


-Thank you so much
for doing the show. Last time I saw you,
you didn’t have an Oscar. You have an Academy Award?
[ Cheers and applause ] No!
-It’s crazy, man. It’s crazy.
-What’s that feel — I mean,
we were talking about the film, and then,
for it to get nominated was just a goal in itself.
-Yeah, yeah. -But then you won.
-What the hell, right? [ Laughter ] You know,
it’s just one of those things, man, where you play basketball
your entire life… -Yeah. -…and then you move on
to something else. And you wind up
working with great people. -Yeah.
-And the next thing you know, you’re sitting at the Osc–
I mean, I was sitting there with Vanessa at the Oscars like, “What in the hell
are we doing here?” [ Laughter ]
-“How did I get here?” -Yeah, “What —
Meryl Streep’s right there.” [ Laughter ] -Speaking of surrounding
yourself with good people, who are these young ladies
right here on the cover? -The one with the eyebrow there
and all the attitude, that’s our middle daughter,
Gianna. -Oh, yeah. -And this is
our basketball team. These are the girls
that I coach every single day. -Now, you coach them
every single day. -Every day.
[ Cheers and applause ] -How’s it to have Kobe Bryant
be a coach? How are you as a coach? I mean, you’ve worked
with some of the best. But I mean, what do you —
-[ Laughs ] I mean, listen,
we practice every day. -You do?
-Yes. So, like,
Gianna wants to play at UConn. I have a few kids
that want to go to Stanford. Some want to go
to Notre Dame and play. And it’s like,
“Listen, three days a week ain’t gonna get you there,
right? You got to really work.” And so
we run the triangle offense. -No. -Oh, yeah, the girls
run the triangle offense. -I mean, that is insane.
-Yeah. -Does Phil Jackson know this?
[ Laughter ] -So, he does, actually.
So, I’ll — The girls really ran, like, a really complicated
triangle-offensive sequence. -Yeah, it is tricky.
-It is tricky. And I sent him
the video of them running it. -Did you really?
-I did, and he was like, “Oh, my gosh.
They ran it beautifully.” And I was like, “Yeah, well, they kind of got
a better coach, so…” [ Laughter ] It’s okay, man.
It’s all right, man. -That’s so cool
that you did that. I got to say congrats
to you and Vanessa. You’re expecting another girl.
Another Bryant. [ Cheers and applause ]
-Yes! Four girls, man.
Four girls. -Four girls?
-Four girls. -All women in the house, dude. -I spend most of the time
at the house literally talking to myself. [ Laughter ] I think they’re listening —
-Oh, yeah, they are. -And then, they just go off
talking about something else, and I just face the wall.
[ Laughter ] -Wow.
That is gonna be wild, man. -It’s nuts.
It’s awesome, though. -Are they excited
to get a sister? -Yeah, they are.
Really, really excited. Our eldest —
her and Gianna both do a great job looking out
for Bianka right. -It’s the best news,
having a baby. -It’s awesome, man.
-It’s the greatest. I heard somewhere that you said
that your youngest daughters, you’re not even gonna, like — that you don’t want them
to really know you as an NBA legend
or your basketball past. -Yeah.
-You think they’re gonna know you as something different? -Well, yeah, they’ll never
actually see me play. You know what I mean? So they’ll be like,
“Wait. You played ball? What?”
[ Laughter ] -“Whatever, Dad.”
-“What? Whatever. I can outshoot you,”
and that sort of stuff. Yeah, because Bianka’s 2, so she doesn’t know me
as a basketball player. -You think they know as, like, a writer and director
and producer. -How about that?
-I think that’s pretty cool. I like that, actually.
[ Cheers and applause ] -It’s awesome.
-That’s amazing. I’m pretty sure they’ll know you
as a basketball player, too. [ Laughter ] I want to talk about this.
This is awesome. This is the “Wizenard” series. Now, this is a mix of fantasy, almost like, I’d say,
“Harry Potter” or “Game of Thrones,”
mixed with basketball. -Yeah.
I had to try and describe it to somebody when I first
came up with the idea. They’re like, “What is it? You got to give, like, elevator
pitch, elevator pitch.” -Elevator, yeah. What can you pitch me
in an elevator? -“Harry Potter,” Olympics,
had a baby. This is what we’re making. [ Laughter ] And they look at me kind of
weird, but, “Okay, I get it.” -And that is what you made.
-Yeah. -And who is Wesley King? -Wesley King’s the author.
You know, just brilliant. This is five books in one. So it’s told
from the perspective of five different athletes. And he managed to write
five books simultaneously, and he’s just
absolutely brilliant. I don’t know how he did it.
[ Laughs ] -It’s amazing.
-But he did it, yeah. -But there’s great stuff
in here, if you like that fantasy world
and the wizards. But also, really good advice
and coaching stuff, things you do learn
if you’re on a good team. -Well, yeah, the important thing
in this story is the story of self-acceptance. We all have fears,
and we all have anxieties and things of that nature.
We can’t ignore them. When you ignore them,
they fester, and they have control over you. What these young men
have to learn through magic is how to have the courage
to face those fears and use those fears
to help themselves be better basketball players
and better people through it. So that’s the journey.
-That’s right. Good for you.
[ Cheers and applause ] “The Wizenard” series. Actually, I heard
that you were thinking maybe making this into
a Broadway production? -Yes.
-Really? -Yes.
[ Cheers ] -And that you might be
getting someone fun to help out
write some of the songs? -Somebody standing —
sitting right over there. -Tariq.
[ Cheers and applause ] -I mean, listen. I mean, as a lyricist,
he’s extremely well-known. -Yeah.
He’s the best. -He does okay. Right?
-He does okay, yeah. -So, I’m like, you know,
if I’m gonna go to somebody to write this thing…
-You go to the best. -Come on.
-Oh, I see what you’re gonna do. You just got the Oscar.
Now you’re gonna get the Tony, and then you’re
gonna get a Grammy. You’re going to be the first
athlete to ever have an EGOT. -Yeah.
-That’s gonna happen. Mark my words.
There you go right there. [ Cheers and applause ]
I’m so happy for you. Congrats on the baby.
-Thank you. -Congrats on the Oscar.
Congrats on the book. Kobe Bryant’s new book “The Wizenard Series:
Training Camp” is out today.