Paulo Coelho scraps children's book he was co-writing with & Kobe Bryant: 'It's lost its reason'

The bestselling author says he learnt a lot from the NBA star

29 January 2020 - 10:15 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Image: Xinyu Cui/Getty Images

World-renowned Brazilian author Paulo Coelho said he deleted the draft of a children's book he and NBA star Kobe Bryant were working on.

Responding to the death of the five-time NBA champion in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday, Coelho shared messages the two exchanged in August 2019, during which Bryant asked the author to collaborate with him on writing a book.

“Let's write that book together,” wrote Bryant. Coelho responded: “Any time.”

The author hailed Bryant, saying: “You were more than a great player, dear Kobe Bryant. I learnt a lot by interacting with you.”

Some fans asked Coelho to let Bryant's wife, Vanessa, have the final say on the book, but the author told Associated Press: “I deleted the draft because it didn't make sense to publish without him. It wouldn't add anything relevant to him or his family.”

He said the book was meant to inspire young children to overcome adversity through sport.

“That doesn't stop me from someday writing about things I learnt from Kobe and how much of a larger-than-life person he was,” said the 79-year-old.