Kobe Bryant recently called it a career with the Los Angeles Lakers, but the future first-ballot Hall of Famer is still keeping busy by working with a roster full of brands—as evidenced by his new Ghostbusters promo, pitching Copa America for Fox Sports, and his involvement with 2K Sports. Bryant is featured as the cover star for the upcoming NBA 2K17: Legacy Edition, and it looks like the video game has given him a taste for more—specifically with eSports.
Speaking with USA Today, Bryant expressed interest in competitive gaming.
“I think people are really interested in watching people problem solve. It doesn’t matter what industry. People are very fascinated by that—seeing the struggles people go through and how they overcome it,” he said. “I think this was just a matter of time before it caught fire. To be able to sit and watch a performance on TV and watch how the gamers are figuring out those challenges amongst themselves, you can’t help but be interested.”
Bryant was then asked if he would possibly invest in eSports, as peers like former teammates Rick Fox and Shaquille O’Neal have done.
“It depends, depends if the right opportunity comes along, and I feel like it’s something that we should invest in, and if it’s something we feel like we could add value to, then yeah, that’d be something that we’d consider,” Bryant said.
Bryant is an integral part of 2K Sports’ promotion with NBA 2K17, which also recently announced that it would be hosting a new service called 2K Streamcast, where players compete in a Pro-Am for a $250,000 cash prize.
Kobe is a first-rate pitchman and veteran of the video game industry, as evidenced by his previous cameos for Guitar Hero and Call of Duty, as well as having his own Nintendo 64 series Kobe Bryant in NBA Courtside. A potential eSports collaboration with 2K Sports would make total sense for the Black Mamba if he ever felt so inclined.
For now, Kobe is enjoying life away from the hardwood, but don’t be surprised if he runs a fast break right back into it via video games.