Kobe Bryant’s New Mission: Inspiring The Next Generation

Former NBA All-star, slam dunk champion and future basketball Hall-of-Famer Kobe Bryant was on a mission to be the best in basketball amongst his peers. During his 20-year career, he was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. He led the NBA in scoring during two seasons and ranks third on the league’s all-time regular season scoring and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. He holds the NBA record for the most seasons playing with one franchise for an entire career and is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Bryant is also the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons. So it’s safe to say he accomplished that mission.

Now, Bryant has a new mission: Investing in the next generation, specifically through entrepreneurship.

Kobe Bryant has revealed that while he was dominating play on the basketball court, he was also planning to make his next move his best move by quietly building a $100 million venture capital firm.

Bryant’s Wall Street secret went public in 2017 when the former Los Angeles Laker rang the New York Stock Exchange bell and told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” about his three-year-old venture.

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Bryant, who at the age of 37, retired from the NBA this year after 20 years, said that investing is one of his passions. “This is where it’s at for me,” he said.

(Photo credit: Pinterest.com)

“Playing basketball, the focus is always on winning — winning championships, winning championships, winning championships,” Bryant said. “Now, championships come and go… But if you really want to create something that lasts generations, you have to help inspire the next generation… That’s when you create something forever. And that’s what’s most beautiful.”

The $100 million venture-capital fund was co-founded in 2013 by Jeff Stibel, a serial entrepreneur, scientist and author. Stibel currently serves as the vice chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, and was previously the president and CEO of Web.com, Inc.

(photo courtesy of Kobe Bryant Instagram)

But the fund just now is being pushed in the spotlight because funding entrepreneurship something that Kobe can really focus on.

“It’s the inner belief that a person has what he needs to endure no matter what the obstacle may be. It’s that persistence, the entrepreneur doing what he or she truly believes in and truly loves to do,” Kobe said.

“We wanted our body of work, and the entrepreneurs and companies, to stand for themselves,” Stibel told CNNMoney. “We wanted to prove that this was something that had substance and depth.”

Bryant Stibel has already invested in 15 companies and been involved in 50 transactions. The group’s current portfolio includes Derek Jeter’s media company The Player’s Tribune, home juicing firm Juicero, and the huge Chinese online retailer Alibaba.

Bryant and Stibel are listed as general partners, and Stibel says they are mostly responsible for that $100 million fund. Bryant Stibel’s core team, made up of a small group of individual investors Stibel has worked with…