“That doesn’t stop me from writing some day about things I learned from Kobe and how much of a larger-than-life person he was,” Coelho said. “But the children’s book did not make sense anymore.”
Coelho’s decision disappointed many of Bryant’s fans, who flooded the writer’s social media channels asking for the draft not to be erased.
Bryant was a fan of Coelho’s and called The Alchemist his favorite book. He recommended it to everyone from former teammate Kyrie Irving to Rob Pelinka, his former agent who now runs the Lakers’ basketball operations.
Coelho, who has sold tens of millions of books, said the idea behind his collaboration with Bryant was to inspire underprivileged children to overcome adversity through sports.
“Kobe was always very concerned about making a book that was a positive example for children, especially those coming from humble beginnings,” Coelho said.
Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died in the crash, along with seven others. Bryant has three other daughters.
The book project was very casual. After not communicating for several months, Bryant sent a message to Coelho in August, saying “Let’s right that book together.” He then texted the correct spelling of “write”.
“It went from there. Little by little we were going ahead,” Coelho said. He did not reveal how many pages had been written or whether the book already had a title.