Is this the top Part # we lost count? Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant was an 18-time all star in the 20 years he played for the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won five NBA championships. But what Bryant wants to be known for more than basketball is his investing prowess, he told CNBC Monday as he announced a $100 million venture fund focused on technology, media and data companies. For this venture, Bryant is teaming up with another business superstar who handles the math end of the partnership.

Bryant wants to create lasting legacy through business investments

Bryant teamed up with entrepreneur and former CEO Jeff Stibel to form the Bryant Stibel investment fund.

For Bryant, the goal is to create an enduring mark on society that goes beyond the cyclical nature of sports. “Playing basketball, the focus is always on winning. Winning championships, winning championships, winning championships,” he told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street. “Now, championships come and go. There’s going to be another team that wins another championship, another player that wins another MVP award.”

During his tenure at the Lakers, Kobe, named after the famous cut of beef in Japan, wants to win in business because the legacy of a great company is more long lasting than in sports.

“If you really want to create something that last generations, you have to help inspire the next generation, and they create something great, and then that generation will inspire the one behind them, right? And that’s when you create something forever. And that’s what’s most beautiful,” he said.

While threading the needle on a pass or winning the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Awared in 2008 was a thrill, he says it all pales in comparison to his current role. “There is no greater feeling that helping an entrepreneur” be successful in business, he said.


Kobe Bryant photo
Photo by Keith Allison

Bryant hoping his teammate Stibel doesn’t complain as much as Shaquille O’Neal

Bryant, the son of a professional basketball player, famously had difficulty playing with teammate Shaquille O’Neal after winning three championships from 2000 to 2002. After the Lakers lost in the 2004 NBA Finals, O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat.

Bryant hopes not to have similar problems with his current partner, and their tasks are roles are clearly divided.

In the dynamic duo that makes up this team, Stibel is the numbers guy, running through the balance sheets and making decisions to invest in companies such as videogame maker Scopely or online legal tech firm LegalZoom. Bryant handles the softer skills of “storytelling and branding,” he said.

What he looks for in a CEO is how they individually handle the ups and downs of adversity. Can they maintain a focus and achieve an objective in the face of adversity.