Kobe Bryant: “I’m excited to focus all my energy on being Editorial Director of The Players’ Tribune”

LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant says he is at peace with the end of his playing career, in no small part because in his retirement from athletics, he plans to pour his full energy into his passion for open an independent journalism.

Soon after the The Players’ Tribune launched in 2014, the longtime Lakers guard took the job of Editorial Director, joining a masthead including esteemed publishing titans Russell Wilson, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Danica Patrick and Andrew McCutchen, among others. All of them serve under Founding Publisher Derek Jeter.

But Bryant was still under contract with the Lakers and couldn’t focus fully on his Deputy Editor tasks. Yet every free moment he had in recent seasons was filled with crafting story ideas and editing copy.

“Kobe loves basketball, but not like he loves being a Deputy Editor,” said Lakers head coach Byron Scott. “Every time he’s out of the game, he’s got his laptop out, punching up an article. Or he’s on the phone, working some contacts for a story.”

The Laker legend has average 16.9 points per game in his final season and believes he can still contribute to a team, but he said he can no longer stay away from the opportunity to be in The Players’ Tribune’s editorial offices each and every day.

“It’s an honor to be there working side-by-side with Derek Jeter on pieces,” he said. “If you want open and honest truth with nothing to hide and no hedging, all transparency, you want Derek Jeter. I’m so blessed to be able to work with him each day, pitching and refining stories, toiling late into the night to get a single sentence just right, and producing the best content we possibly can day in and day out.”

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