Get ready for some statistics. Like this: Davis is one of only three players in NBA history to log 10,000 points, 4,000 rebounds and 1,000 blocks before turning 26. In his past three seasons, Davis averaged 27.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.4 blocks. That means he scored more than Steph Curry or Kevin Durant, snagged more steals than LeBron James and rejected more shots than all but one other player in the league. He’s one of only two players in NBA history (the other is this guy named Kareem) who averaged 30 points and a 50 percent field goal percentage in their first two playoff series.
Now a Los Angeles resident, the Chicago native sayse he likes what he sees on the Lakers’ roster with the Los Angeles Lakers beginning training camp later this month. “If they get it together obviously they’re going to be a very good team,” he told me. “LeBron, Rondo and those guys, their veteran leadership is going to try and get that continuity together early on and try to get it together and going fast.”
Even before he retired from the Los Angeles Lakers following the 2015-2016 season, Kobe Bryant had big plans for his post-NBA career. Some three years earlier, the hoops superstar ran a fast break into the court of venture capital, as a co-founder of Bryant Stibel & Co., whose funds now have access to more than $2 billion in resources under management. “I understand the importance of building value and being smart with your finances,” Bryant told USA TODAY, all-too-mindful of the many horror stories of fellow retired athletes who’ve gone broke.
Along the way, Kobe Bryant has recruited athletic pals, luring in the likes of former quarterback Peyton Manning and current NBA star Steph Curry. “Really just having the halo of Kobe Bryant attached to Art of Sport has opened doors across the board,” says Brian Lee, the serial entrepreneur who co-founded Art of Sport, as well as The Honest Company and LegalZoom. But while acknowledging the advantages having Kobe Bryant on the team brings, Bryant Stibel co-founder, brain scientist, and part-time USA TODAY columnist, Jeff Stibel says, “You should remember that for the first five years or so, we kept our relationship with Kobe confidential. We wanted the work to speak for itself.”
But Kobe Bryant, for one, has been an active participant in the Bryant Stibel’s ventures. He’s a partner, and the former Laker has helped Art of Sport, for example, with marketing and other tactical decisions, and has even coined a couple of its brand names (Rise, Compete). “My biggest strength is in storytelling for brands,” Kobe Bryant says. “To put this succinctly, Kobe’s sport was basketball, Peyton’s sport was football, my sport is business,” Stibel adds. . “We’re leveraging our partners in areas where they’re better than anyone. Being able to take what they do best–the hard work, the dedication, the ability to create winning teams – and morph that into lessons that entrepreneurs learn is invaluable.”