Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were two out of the nine victims who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday

By Gabrielle Chung
January 27, 2020 11:30 PM

Kobe Bryant was working on a children’s book prior to his tragic death in helicopter crash on Sunday, but that project will never see the light of day, according to The Alchemist author Paulo Coehlo.

On Sunday, the Brazilian writer, 72, revealed that he had been working on a book with the athlete and tweeted his plans to delete the draft following news of Bryant’s passing.

Alongside screenshot of what appeared to be a 2019 direct message conversation with Bryant, Coehlo wrote, “You were more than a great player, dear Kobe Bryant. I learned a lot by interacting with you. Will delete the draft right now, this book has lost its reason.”

In the screenshot, a message seemingly from Bryant’s Twitter account read: “Let’s [write] a book together.”

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Coehlo told the Associated Press on Monday that the two began writing a few months ago, but he destroyed the manuscript after learning that Bryant had passed away.

“I deleted the draft because it didn’t make any sense to publish without him,” Coelho said. “It wouldn’t add anything relevant to him or his family.

“That doesn’t stop me from writing someday about things I learned from Kobe and how much of a larger-than-life person he was,” the writer continued. “But the children’s book did not make sense anymore.”

According to Coehlo, the idea behind the book was to inspire underprivileged children to overcome adversity through sports.

“Kobe was always very concerned about making a book that was a positive example for children, especially those coming from humble beginnings,” Coelho shared, telling the publication that they were working “little by little” after Bryant reached out about a collaboration.

Paulo Coehlo (left), Kobe Bryant (right)
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

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“I saw him enough times to assure he had much more than sports on his mind, it wasn’t all about competition,” the author said. “His tragic death has shown already how he was important to the world, not only to the United States. We will discuss his legacy for many years, much beyond sport.”

Bryant ventured into the book world when his multimedia company, Granity Studios, published his autobiography The Mamba Mentality: How I Play in 2018. The former NBA star went on to co-create a young adult fiction book series with Wesley King titled The Wizenard Series, which follows five young basketball players in a Harry Potter-esque story.

The Alchemist was one of Bryant’s favorite books and the Lakers legend had even once recommended it to basketball player Kyrie Irving, according to The Athletic.

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Bryant and his daughter Gianna were two of nine victims who perished in a deadly helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California.

The basketball star and his 13-year-old daughter were on their way to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks with seven others when the helicopter crashed amid foggy conditions and burst into flames.

Sarah Chester and her daughter, eighth-grader Payton, the head basketball coach at Orange Coast College John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, girls basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan were also on the aircraft during the incident.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa, 37, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.

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