Only “Extra’s” Mario Lopez got a chance to sit down with basketball legend Kobe Bryant at the Variety and Sports Illustrated Sports Entertainment Summit, where they chatted about life after the Lakers.
Though Kobe has been off the basketball court since retiring in April, he is still staying in shape. He said, “Yeah, I stay away from the court, but I do quite a bit of running — treadmill-running, sprint… running on a treadmill, interval training is great.”
Kobe also dropped another baby bombshell after news broke he and wife Vanessa are expecting their third child together. When Mario asked, “Is the shop closed?” Kobe left the door open for future kids, responding, “Nah. Who knows?”
Mario chimed in, “You know, I was thinking about it, too, because I think it’s cool that you have all girls, because if you had a son, that’s a lot of pressure.” Kobe added, “Yeah, I guess, but, I mean, my third daughter is going to have no idea that I played basketball anyway.”
Kobe’s older girls, Natalia, 13, and Gianna, 10, are excited for the new addition. He shared, “I told Natalia and Gianna both, I said, ‘Your responsibilities are gonna go through the roof now.'”
The Bryants are already thinking of possible names for the baby girl, and will most likely stick with the Italian theme. The 37-year-old explained, “It has to flow. You can’t go, like… Natalia, Gianna and then, Leanne, you know what I mean? It has to have a certain flow to it.”
After the family mulls over the ideas, Vanessa will make the final decision on the baby’s name. He admitted, “I’m not good at picking names… Yeah, every name I come up with gets shot down… So my job is to basically throw out names, just to get her wheels turning.”
Not only is Kobe spending more time with his family during retirement, he is also working in film and TV. He commented, “The obsession for me, for this, is the same as it was for basketball for years and years before, [the] same amount of dedication same level of commitment.”
Kobe is creating inspirational stories with his production company Kobe Studios. “I think storytelling is a lot of fun for me to do. I grew up really digesting a great deal of content that helped me get to where I am today. Once I stepped away from the game and had an opportunity to work with Glen Keane, one of the greatest animators of all time, and John Williams, one of the greatest composers of all time, and putting together an animated short about my open letter to basketball about my retirement — that’s ridiculously fun for me.”
He went on, "We're here to talk about that project, how this animated piece can inspire the next generation of basketball players."
Speaking of movies, Bryant recently shot a “Ghostbusters” commercial that aired during the NBA Playoffs last month. “It was fun, it was good. I finally got to put on a proton pack; I’ve been waiting to do that since I was a kid.”
When asked who should play him if a movie was ever made about his life, Kobe answered, “ ell, I think at this point it has to be Michael B. Jordan… We discussed the possibility of him playing me in an Apple ad, so I think it’s only right for him to take that role.”
There is one role Bryant is not interested in — doing sports commentary. “I’m just not interested in it,” he said. "I don’t have the passion to pursue it. I love creating content, producing content, and seeing how that content inspires somebody to be the best version of themselves… I enjoy that a lot more.”