Slam

LEADER OF THE NEW SCHOOL

KOBE BRYANT WAS 37 YEARS OLD WHEN HIS SECOND HALF STARTED. NOW, NEARLY THREE NBA SEASONS LATER, THERE ARE FEW REMINDERS OF HIS FIRST HALF, OF HIS FIVE CHAMPIONSHIPS, 20 YEARS AND 33,643 POINTS AS AN L.A. LAKER LAYING AROUND HIS SPACIOUS ORANGE COUNTY, CA, OFFICE.

Instead, Bryant’s deep-seated couch and coffee table are littered with piles of advanced copy books and worn classics. The shelving, which is on the other side of the half-court sized room, boasts more literature and a gleaming gold Oscar, which he won in 2018 for his poem-turned-animated-short Dear Basketball. Feet away, Bryant’s desk, which is wider than Shaq and heavier than Oliver Miller, is covered with a tree’s worth of white paper dotted with yellow highlighter and handwritten edits. The only other items on the surface are some pens, a laptop and family photos.

It is in this floor-to-ceiling windowed room, at the nerve center of Granity, his company, studio and, in a way, universe, that Bryant is sitting this morning. The CEO and president showed up at around 8 a.m., later than usual but early if you consider the

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