Kobe Bryant Dishes On Kobeland, Career Highlights And His Next Chapter

Kobe Bryant

Photo Credit: Gremly Media

All of Los Angeles turned out in support of NBA All-Star and L.A. Lakers king Kobe Bryant, who celebrated his retirement with a city-wide block party, aptly named Kobeland. The evening of Dec. 18 started out with a street festival, which featured a variety of interactive games, a Kobe-inspired Ferris Wheel, special basketball shootout, photo opportunities, branded merchandise and a live deejay that was open to the public. Inside the Staples Center, many former Los Angeles Lakers players were in attendance including Magic Johnson for this historical moment and Grammy nominated artist Kendrick Lamar gave a special performance as well as a DJ set by the one and only Shaquille O’Neal. This Is Us actor Justin Hartley also got in on the festivities. Bryant’s actual jersey retirement ceremony—he retired his legendary “8” and “24” jerseys—took place during the halftime of the Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors game that day.

Haute Living had the opportunity to chat with this NBA great, who dished on the Kobeland ceremony, his love of L.A. and what’s in store for his next, post-NBA chapter.

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant with Cookie and Magic Johnson
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant with Cookie and Magic Johnson

Photo Credit: Gremly Media

In your wildest dreams, did you ever think you’d have a celebration called “Kobeland” in your honor? 
The Lakers had some fun with my jersey retirement. I think it’s great that they created a celebratory atmosphere for the fans in my honor. Seeing Kobeland and two jerseys in the rafters is surreal.

You celebrated your jersey retirement with Kobeland. In what other ways specifically did you celebrate? 
Just spent the day with my family. That’s celebration enough for me.

Was the decision to retire a struggle? Why or why not? Why was now the right time? 
Retiring wasn’t a struggle for me at all. As I wrote in my retirement announcement, my body knew it was time to say goodbye.

What’s next? Your charity, obviously, but what else do you have planned for the future? 
I’m building a content studio to tell stories to the next generation that challenge them to use their imaginations and tap their full potential.

How do you fill your days now, when you would have been practicing, training, playing? 
I’m 100% focused on building my studio and creating stories for the next generation of athletes.

Kobe BryantPhoto Credit: Gremly Media

What was your greatest career moment/achievement, in your own words? 
Wearing #8, it would have to be my 81-point game. Wearing #24, definitely the championship over the Boston Celtics.

Your career is interwoven into the fabric of Los Angeles life. You have given a lot to L.A. What do you love about the ‪City of Angels, specifically? How would you describe it? 
Los Angeles has a buzz of creativity, inspiration and hope that I’ve always appreciated and loved. It can’t be matched anywhere in the world.

What are your favorite spots here? For dining, reflection, peace and quiet? 
The lead spots would have to be Staples Center and the Forum for obvious reasons. And the prime rib at BOA can’t be beat.

How would you describe where you’re at in your life now, in a phrase or five words?
Grateful for what’s behind me and excited for what’s ahead.

What, to you, is the greatest luxury in life and why? 
Having the flexibility to spend time with my oldest girls and to see our baby growing every day. That’s life’s greatest luxury.

A Kobe cake

Photo Credit: Gremly Media