Kobe Bryant’s Books Top New York Times, Amazon Best Sellers Lists
Sneakers and jerseys aren’t the only pieces of Kobe Bryant memorabilia that have been flying off shelves since he, his daughter Gianna and seven others perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on January 26. The Los Angeles Lakers legend and soon-to-be Basketball Hall of Famer’s books have also been rising up The New York Times’ Best Sellers List and the Amazon Charts.
The Black Mamba’s sports-fantasy novels, published by Granity Studios, have proved to be particularly popular in recent weeks. As of February 10, Kobe’s creations—Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof, Legacy and the Queen and The Wizenard: Training Camp—occupied the top three spots on The New York Times’ list of “Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover” books. The five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star created the characters and worlds for those stories, and enlisted the authors Ivy Claire, Annie Matthew and Wesley King to write the books.
Meanwhile, another of Kobe’s collaborations, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, has soared in popularity. The book, which features the Mamba’s musings on physical and mental preparation amid photographs from Hall of Fame photographer Andrew Bernstein, has risen to No. 3 on The New York Times’ “Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction” list and No. 4 on the “Hardcover Nonfiction” list. The Mamba Mentality, which was first released in 2018—the same year Kobe’s “Dear Basketball” won the Academy Award for “Best Short Film (Animated)”—has also reached No. 1 on the Amazon Charts.
Granity, Kobe’s production company, is also behind The Punies, a podcast series about kids who play sports, and Detail, a sports analysis series on ESPN+. All of Kobe’s content projects tie into his stated desire, particularly after retiring from the NBA in 2016, to educate and inspire through storytelling and sports.
Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.