Tech and business giants mourn the unexpected death of NBA legend turned investor Kobe Bryant, who was known for his 'obsessive' work ethic and used to call leaders like Tim Cook for advice
- Tech and business leaders from Apple and Microsoft as well as high-profile investors reacted with shock, sadness, and respect for Kobe Bryant's legacy on Sunday, following the news that the NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash at age 41.
- Bryant may be best known for his achievements on the court, but he became a savvy investor in his later career.
- The former NBA star is also said to have sought advice from business leaders like Oprah Winfrey, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and former Nike CEO Mark Parker.
- For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.
Tech and business leaders mourned the unexpected death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in California at age 41.
Executives from Apple and Microsoft as well as high-profile investors expressed shock, sadness, and respect for Bryant's legacy in Twitter posts on Sunday.
During his storied career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant became the fourth all-time high scorer in the NBA and won five NBA championships. While much of his fame may be defined by his accomplishments on the court, he also became an established presence in the business world.
He launched a $100 million venture capital fund with investor Jeff Stibel following his retirement from the NBA in 2016, but he delved into the business world long before then. In 2014, for example, he invested a 10% stake in the sports drink BodyArmor, which is now said to be worth $200 million (R2.9 billion) after Coca-Cola purchased a stake in the firm.
Bryant even said that he hoped to be remembered for his investments just as much as his NBA career when speaking with CNBC in 2016. "If you really want to create something that lasts generations, you have to help inspired the next generation, right?" Bryant said to the network. "They create something great. And then that generation will inspire the one behind them. That's when you create something forever."
Among those who shared their reactions on Sunday were Apple CEO Tim Cook, former Microsoft CEO and Los Angeles Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer, and billionaire entrepreneur and "Shark Tank" TV personality Mark Cuban.
Devastated and heartbroken by the passing of Kobe Bryant. I admired his athletic prowess from afar and his humanity close up. He was an original. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fans. RIP.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 26, 2020
Bryant was known to have a tireless work ethic. When speaking on Bill Simmons' podcast back in 2016, investor and former Shark Tank host Chris Sacca said Bryant would consistently text and call him with Ted Talks and other news while doing research for his business ventures.
"He was bringing the same obsessive work ethic to learning about startups that he does to training, to rehab, to his thousand makes a day, to everything," Sacca said. He also wasn't afraid to call other successful leaders for advice, as he told Alex Rodriguez and Dan Catz on an episode of "The Corp" in 2018, according to CNBC.
He said he learned a lot from Oprah Winfrey, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and former Nike CEO Mark Parker in particular, especially when it comes to handling mistakes. "We all make mistakes," Bryant said, according to CNBC. "We all make decisions. And you just continue to plow forward. You continue to figure it out."
Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- 17 jobs paying more than R2 million in SA right now
- It can cost you R10,000 to stay at The Leonardo, the tallest not-quite-finished skyscraper in Africa
- How to find your next big idea and make it happen, from a CEO who's done it
- The definitive guide to what to do if you lost your ID, passport, credit card or cell phone
- New, detailed pictures of planets, moons, and comets are neither photos nor animations — they're made using data from 50 years of NASA missions
- South African and Chinese scientists have just made an exciting breakthrough to allow internet users to transfer secure quantum data via normal optical fibre