The children's book by Kobe Bryant that Paulo Coelho threw in the trash
They were going to write it together, but after Mamba's death, the Brazilian writer saw no point in going on. His fans ask WHY.
If anything distinguishes the multimillionaire author of "The Alchemist", apart from his clear opposition to Jair Bolsonaro, it is his extravagances, which he does not hesitate to share with everyone, sometimes with strange and heartfelt results.
After the sad death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who had been publishing children's and young adults' novels from his company Granity Studios since his retirement from basketball, Paulo Coelho announced to AP that he would be eliminating a draft of a children's story they were writing together.
Fans begged him not to do so. He pressed his mouse cursor down and dragged the document to the trash. Why?
"There was no point in publishing it without him" and "it wouldn't add anything relevant to him or his family," said the 72-year-old writer, who had been working a couple of months with the Mamba on a book to inspire disadvantaged children to overcome adversity through sport.
"Kobe always cared a lot about making a book that would be a positive example for children, especially for those who come from humble backgrounds."
Coelho, who a couple of years ago had published "Hippie," an autobiographical novel about the emergence of the hippie movement and the free-thinking, egalitarian airs of the 1960s, confessed that his decision "does not prevent me from writing one day about the things I learned from Kobe."
You were more than a great player, dear Kobe Bryant. I learned a lot by interacting with you. Will delete the draft right now, this book has lost its reason pic.twitter.com/pZWyT8xObw
— Paulo Coelho (@paulocoelho) January 26, 2020
What is surprising about his statements, however, is that from all the possible ways in which Paulo Coelho could have honored Mamba's memory, he chose the most extreme one. Was he afraid that he would be accused of profiting from the death of a great sportsman? Couldn't he have shared the rights-free draft or donated it to the family as a symbol of what, according to the billionaire self-help author, Kobe Bryant meant not only for basketball but also for the fight against discrimination?
"Kobe was always very concerned about making a book that would be a positive example for children, especially those from humble backgrounds," Coelho said.
What's more, what did he intend by publicly announcing that he would eliminate the story they were both working on?
"I saw him enough times to make sure he had much more than sports on his mind, it wasn't about the competition," he said.
"His tragic death has already shown how important he was to the world, not just the United States. We will be discussing his legacy for many years to come, far beyond sports."
The Alchemist's words from his famous book reverberate like echoes from the past:
"Decisions are only the beginning of something. When someone makes a decision, he or she plunges into a powerful current that takes a person to a place they would never have dreamed of at the time of their decision."
Without wishing to dwell on the sore spot, we prefer to believe that sometimes people have strange ways of coping with grief.