Coelho announced his intention to “delete” the draft on Twitter, where he also shared a screenshot of the DMs he and Bryant had exchanged when they agreed to start the project. Coelho’s feeling that “this book has lost its reason,” makes a whole lot of sense, but his replies were still flooded by still-in-shock fans who felt they were losing out on a connection to the late superstar.
You were more than a great player, dear Kobe Bryant. I learned a lot by interacting with you. Will delete the draft right now, this book has lost its reason pic.twitter.com/pZWyT8xObw
— Paulo Coelho (@paulocoelho) January 26, 2020
Coelho stuck to his guns, however. He confirmed to the Associated Press that the draft had been deleted as planned.
One of the tragic aspects of this unabashed tragedy is that Bryant’s post-basketball career was in its infancy, and it was shaping up to be one for the ages. Bryant had a famously obsessive work ethic that appeared to be transferring neatly to his creative projects.
The Wizenard Series: Training Camp was created by Bryant (though he didn’t do the actual writing) as a sort of Harry Potter-Hoosiers mashup, a fantasy series that hit the notes of inspirational sports stories.
There was also Dear Basketball, a short set to a poem Bryant wrote just before his playing career ended and animated by the guy who spearheaded Disney classics like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. The film won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film; Bryant’s hard work had already begun to pay off.
The collaboration with Coelho is one of many projects Kobe would have completed had he lived as long as we all expected him to, and while it’s far from the most tragic aspect of his passing, it’s definitely still a loss.