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Shockwave From Death of NBA Great Kobe Bryant Felt on Wall Street

Shockwave From Death of NBA Great Kobe Bryant Felt on Wall Street

The sudden, tragic death of NBA all-time great Kobe Bean Bryant in a helicopter crash rocked the sports world Sunday, but the ripples also were felt on Wall Street.

BRYANT: “I got tired of telling people I loved business as much as I did basketball because people would look at me like I had three heads. But I do.”

Bryant, 41, died with his 13-year-old daughter and protege, Gianna Maria, and seven others when the helicopter crashed amid foggy conditions into a hillside in Calabasas, California, Sunday morning while en route to a youth basketball game. There were no survivors.

All of the details have yet to come out about what exactly happened, but the helicopter reportedly was in a climbing left turn about 2,400 feet up before diving into the hillside at 184 miles per hour, descending at a rate of more than 4,000 feet per minute (45 mph), according to ESPN.

Bryant, nicknamed the Black Mamba, earned more than $323 million during his 20-year NBA career — and even more than that in endorsements — and he put that money to work even before he retired.

“I got tired of telling people I loved business as much as I did basketball because people would look at me like I had three heads. But I do,” Bryant told ESPN in 2017.

Bryant launched Bryant Stibel soon after retiring, a $100 million tech investing firm with venture capitalist Jeff Stibel.

“This is one of my passions,” Bryant told CNBC after he rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. “We are one gear, 100% laser-focused, and here we go.”

The pair joined forces and began investing in 2013, and their portfolio includes household names like Dell and Alibaba, as well as stakes in more than 20 early stage companies like The Players’ Tribune, a blog owned by MLB Hall of Famer Derek Jeter, LegalZoom, Cholula hot sauce, wedding site Minted, “Fortnite” video game developer Epic Games, skincare company Art of Sport, Jessica Alba’s The Honest Co., and location tracker Tile, according to Yahoo Finance.

Bryant also turned a $6 million investment in 2014 in sports drink company Body Armor into a $200 million windfall after Coca-Cola bought into the Gatorade and Powerade competitor.

In a Yahoo Finance story last year, former teammate Lamar Odom credited Bryant as the athlete he has taken the most business cues from, and NBA stars like LeBron James, Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry have followed in Bryant’s investing footsteps.

Bryant went to the NBA straight out of high school as the league’s youngest player ever drafted (No. 13) and became a five-time champion and a two-time Olympic gold medalist as a leader of Team USA. He is now fourth on the career scoring list after current Lakers star LeBron James passed him for third place on Saturday, less than 24 hours before Bryant’s sudden death.

Bryant, an 18-time all-star, also won two NBA Finals MVP trophies and the regular season MVP award in 2008. He also scored 81 points in a game, second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s record 100 points. In his final game, Bryant scored 60 points.

Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban immediately announced that his team will retire Bryant’s No. 24 jersey. During his career, Bryant wore jersey Nos. 24 and 8, and both have already been retired by the Lakers. Bryant is eligible to enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year.

In 2018, Bryant won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for “Dear Basketball,” a movie he created, wrote and produced based on a poem he wrote by the same name. He also launched Granity Studios, a multimedia company based on inspiring young people across TV and film. Granity is “a platform to create and share original stories to inspire today’s young athletes. There’s surprisingly little content that combines the passion of sports and the traditions of original storytelling,” Bryant said at the time.

Also in 2018, he launched the Mamba Sports Academy in Los Angeles, the city where his legacy looms large. The academy hosted Gianna Maria’s AAU team and the younger Bryant, known as GiGi, was a budding superstar player in her own right.

Kobe Bryant, the father of four daughters, was a huge supporter of women’s athletics, including the WNBA and U.S. women’s national soccer team.

Wall Street on the Death of Kobe Bryant

Former Microsoft CEO and current L.A. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer:

Apple CEO Tim Cook:

Dallas Mavericks owner, Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban:

Disney CEO Bob Iger:

Charles Schwab & Co. Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders:

Hubspot CEO Brian Halligan:

LPL Financial Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick: