Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant made quite a productive second career for himself after retiring from the NBA in 2016.
But some may be surprised to find that he actually signed on to become a part of the crew at TNT for their coverage of NBA games, according to Charles Barkley.
“Kobe Bryant signed a contract to join the NBA on TNT crew after his retirement.” – Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/EOsBwQMP8f
— 𝘾𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙎𝙝𝙪𝙗𝙝 ⁶𓅓 (@OVOLakeShow) March 2, 2022
Barkley and Kenny Smith publicly said that Bryant would’ve been welcome to join them if he had wished. However, the five-time champ decided to focus on his business ventures and on becoming a film writer.
Bryant was considered one of those rare individuals who would’ve likely become successful at anything he applied himself to, so it isn’t too much of a stretch to have imagined him becoming a fixture at TNT.
If he had chosen to join Barkley, Smith and host Ernie Johnson, he would’ve been reunited with his old partner in crime in Shaquille O’Neal, with whom he won three straight NBA titles.
Whatever success Bryant was ultimately going to have in his new life and career was tragically cut short when he was killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020.
Before that, he had openly embraced LeBron James as the new torchbearer for the Purple and Gold.
The night prior to Bryant’s passing, James had passed him on the all-time NBA career scoring list in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers. James and his teammates then decided to dedicate the rest of the season to the Black Mamba’s memory, and it all culminated in the franchise’s 17th world championship.