He was the highest paid NBA star of all time.
At the time of his retirement in 2016, Kobe had received a total of $680 million in earnings throughout his entire basketball career and as part of the Lakers. He became the highest-earning team athlete during his playing career, surpassing Michael Jordan. Other individual sports athletes to earn more than him are Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather.
He also had several endorsements with major names like Nike.
The athlete appeared in commercials for major brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Mercedes-Benz, and Hublot, with paychecks in the millions that added to his fortune. He also had his own sneaker line with Nike, which fans have rushed to purchase since his death.
Kobe was all about investing to build his wealth.
Kobe was vocal about his interest in investing and said that aside from basketball, investing would become part of his legacy going forward. He wanted the world to see what it was like to build generational wealth, and he was well on the path to becoming a billionaire. He began investing prior to his retirement from the sport, investing in the Bodyarmor SuperDrink company for $6 million in March 2014. The Coca-Cola Company purchased a minority stake in the company in August 2018, raising the valuation of Kobe's stake to about $200 million.
He launched various businesses.
Aside from his investments, Kobe formed Granity Studios, and it became an award-winning multimedia company focused on creating new ways to tell stories around sports. He became the first African American to win the Academy Award for best animated short film in 2018 for the film Dear Basketball.
The world won't get to watch Kobe's second act.
After the news of his death, many people took to social media to react to the tragedy. Former President Barack Obama sent out a message that resonated with many. He mentioned how the young 41-year-old basketball legend was just getting started. His career as an athlete may have come to an end, but the rest of his life was still unfolding--a life that would have surely inspired many. "Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act," the president wrote.