Coelho deletes book written with Bryant

January 28, 2020

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP):

Kobe Bryant and Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho were working together on a children's book, but the author of The Alchemist said he deleted the draft after Bryant's death in helicopter crash.

The 72-year-old novelist told The Associated Press yesterday that the two men started discussing the project in 2016, when Bryant retired after a 20-year NBA career. They began writing a few months ago.

Within hours of hearing of Bryant's death Sunday, Coelho announced that he would delete the draft, rather than finish without the 41-year-old five-time NBA champion.

"I deleted the draft because it didn't make any sense to publish without him," Coelho said by phone from his home in Geneva yesterday. "It wouldn't add anything relevant to him or his family.

"That doesn't stop me from writing someday 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.

The acclaimed writer, who has sold tens of millions of books, said the idea of the book 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 is survived by three other daughters.

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