Kobe Bryant was in the midst of creating a book when he sadly passed away before the publishing date. Thankfully, the book still managed to be published under Vanessa Bryant’s direction, and it wasn’t going to be easy.
Legacy and The Double was released earlier this year, on August 24, 2021. The book talks about the challenges and difficulties athletes must face through the story of a tennis player. This goes to show that the famous “mamba mentality” movement that Kobe dedicated his skills too, can be applied in all areas of life.
The fictional story is inspired by Kobe’s very own approach to mentally and physically excelling as one of the best basketball players in history and what it meant to be in the NBA Hall of Fame.
But that’s not all, the main character of the novel is a young female athlete, this decision was inspired by his daughter Gianna.
As you can imagine, creating a book of this stature takes precision and detailed execution.
Between many publishers, Vanessa’s lead and adhering to Kobe’s wishes, it really took a village.
“There were constant back and forth emails between all parties of the book to make sure Kobe’s wishes were fulfilled,” The Bryant family’s publishing company, Granity Studios, told 6ixBuzz in an exclusive interview.
They tell us that time was of the essence as the book had a strict scheduling date set for the end of the summer. Even more important, it was set on the 24th of August to give tribute to his jersey numbers eight and 24.
The book required time and dedication from all the writers and creators who worked on it, including Vanessa, who was dealing with the tragic loss of both Kobe and her daughter at the time but still showed up to get this done.
Being the wife of one of the most legendary and well-known basketball players in the world is not easy. Still, Vanessa stuck with Kobe from the age of 17, no matter how rocky things got around them.
Although Kobe passed away in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others, he left behind a legacy. As a result, Vanessa stepped up to finish what he started.
“The book emphasized Kobe’s work ethic through his blood, sweat and tears, all three of which were also shared with Vanessa and the team in the making of ‘Mamba Mentality,” the company said.
They say Vanessa went through many sleepless nights in order to release something the world would be proud of.
“She would come into the studio at 5 a.m. before her kids would wake up and come in again at night by 11 p.m when they were all settled in for bed, during the final days before the publishing date.”
They stress that Vanessa would often “come into the studio with a million things on her mind.”
But she knew she had to be in the writer’s room to make sure everything was done in the way her husband would have wanted. The publishing company even shares one example where Vanessa had to speak up during the writing of a book called “Epoca.”
“There was one line in this book that said “Friends come first, practice comes second” there is no way in hell Kobe would ever agree to that, he used to always tell the kids “Your friends will be there… after practice.”
In the series, readers will learn how Bryant studied his opponents and how he reached for success through the story of a girl named Legacy, inspired by his very own Gianna.
“It was as easy as breathing, as practiced as walking. When False Legacy pounded the ball to Legacy’s backhand, Legacy’s limbs followed the patterns of ghosting before she’d had time to think. She knew each angle of the court. No shot was further away than the imaginary shots she’d retrieved in the forest,” said Annie Matthew, the main author of Legacy and The Double.
The book even gets real about the many difficulties that come with being a great athlete. This is something that Kobe was a legend at, as he sustained numerous injuries while playing the game he loved.
In fact, he played with a torn Achilles, food poisoning, a broken nose, and “had a broken finger and had it snapped back in place just enough to finish the game,” they shared.
“When the game itself is more significant than the injury, you don’t feel the injury,” he was quoted saying.
But in the end, the book was a massive hit among readers and even took the top spot on the New York Times best-seller list.
Kobe took no shortcuts but proved that a strong mentality (the mamba mentality) would take you far in life.
Legacy and The Double can be purchased through the Granity Studios website or directly through Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Indie Bounds and many other major book sites.