Remembering Kobe Bryant: The Businessman and Basketball Legend

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Kobe Bryant will be warmly remembered for his insatiable appetite for success and adventure, a quality proven not only through his basketball career, but also his vibrant business career.

Kobe Bryant died at age 41 in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning.

Here’s a run down of his most noted business accomplishments:

Kobe founded co-founded Bryant Stibel, an investment firm focused mostly on its venture capital fund, which provides financing and strategic advice to its portfolio companies, all of which are new technology companies. Bryan Stibel also has growth equity and value equity funds, which have invested in Chinese tech Giant Alibaba  (BABA) - Get Report and well-marketed legal services company Legal Zoom.

Scopley, a video game publisher and one of the venture funds’ most successful investments, was recently valued at $1.7 billion, according to reports. This makes it a 'unicorn,’ which is a private start-up company valued at $1 billion or more. Many unicorns have issued stock to public investors recently, highlighting the new tech advancements the world has observed in the past several years.

Bryant also had an endorsement deal with Nike  (NKE) - Get Report, which paid him $8 million per year over five years. But beyond the dollars, Kobe’s mission was to help Nike, a great American brand strongly associated with basketball, expand into China.

His initiative with Nike seemed to go hand-in-hand with his passion for serving as one of the NBA’s strongest ambassadors to China, a region that has adopted basketball in recent years.

The basketball world will miss Bryant’s warm presence. And the business world will as well, not because of points or dollars, but because of the way he inspired all that he associated with. 

Bryant Stibel made the following statement regarding Bryant's passing:

"The Bryant Stibel family is devastated by the passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the seven other people lost on Sunday. We send our love and thoughts to Vanessa and the Bryant family and to the friends and families of Alyssa, John, and Keri Altobelli; Payton and Sarah Chester; Christina Mauser; and Ara Zobayan. Kobe Bryant was more than a founding partner of Bryant Stibel. He was a creative visionary who quickly became an accomplished entrepreneur and investor. While he was known as one of the greatest athletes of all time, his time off the court was just as remarkable. He was as driven as he was passionate, and he always made time for those who asked. We will miss him tremendously both as our business partner and as our dear friend. His legacy and impact on this world will live on forever. The Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to support the other families affected by this tragedy."

Jeff Stibel post the following on his Instagram account:

"My dear friend, this isn’t possible. We both knew what was ahead and it was so special. The next chapter in the decades to come were going to change everything. People keep talking about what you did, but all I keep thinking about was what was ahead. Your legacy will continue to unfold and grow in the achievements of the people you have touched. My heart breaks for Gigi, it aches for Vanessa and the girls. I refuse to believe you are gone—you will always be with us and we will live up to your impossible standards. I love you my friend."

Latest Updates on Kobe Bryant Tragedy from TheStreet and Sports Illustrated