Coelho thinks it doesn't make sense to continue the project without Kobe.
While Kobe Bryant had already given so much to the world, with his untimely passing comes the imagining of all that still lay ahead for him. After retiring from his legendary NBA career, Bryant dove into the world of children's literature. He conceptualized stories for authors to bring to life on the page: Legacy and the Queen (Annie Matthew), Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof (Ivy Claire), The Wizenard Series: Training Camp (Wesley King).
Another author that Bryant had a children's book in the works with was Paulo Coelho, who is well-known for his novel, The Alchemist. Coelho revealed in an Instagram post that, in the wake of Bryant passing in a helicopter crash on Sunday, he will be scrapping the draft of the book they were co-writing. He posted a screenshot of Bryant messaging him to collaborate in August of 2019. "Let's [write] that book together," Kobe pitched. To which Coelho replied, "Anytime."
"You were more than a great player, dear Kobe Bryant," Coelho wrote in the caption of his post. "I learned a lot by interacting with you. Will delete the draft right now, this book has lost its reason."
Coelho explained his decision to not move forward with the project to The Associated Press: “I deleted the draft because it didn’t make any sense to publish without him. 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. But the children’s book did not make sense anymore.”
Coelho also spoke on what he learned about Bryant's character from their interactions: “I saw him enough times to assure he had much more than sports on his mind, it wasn’t all about competition. His tragic death has shown already how he was important to the world, not only to the United States. We will discuss his legacy for many years, much beyond sport.”