Author Paulo Coelho Halts Children’s Book Collaboration With Kobe Bryant, ‘The Book Has Lost Its Reason’

Writer Paolo Coelho poses for photographers after a press conference on March 18, 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Matej Divizna / Getty Images

Following the tragic passing of NBA star Kobe Bryant, author Paulo Coelho has decided to delete the draft of a children’s book collaboration the two had been working on prior to Bryant’s death, reported The Guardian.

The Brazilian author, well-known for his novel The Alchemist, revealed the children’s book partnership on Monday. Last August, the five-time NBA champion reached out to the author, suggesting that they write a book together. The purpose of the book was to show underprivileged children that they could overcome adversity through playing sports. Prior to his death, Bryant had been working on various book projects featuring sports and magic.

The late basketball player spoke just last week about his projects to USA Today.

“I know where they should start, and I know where they should end by the time this series is over … I had an idea, but I knew that [co-writers] could make it a thousand times better. So it was just kind of sitting back, sharing these ideas and just figuring it out.”

Despite pleas from fans for Coelho to finish the children’s book that he had started with Bryant, as a way to keep his legacy alive, the author ultimately decided to erase the project. In a Twitter post, the author spoke directly to Bryant, telling him that he was more than a great basketball player and that Coelho had learned a lot from him.

“Will delete the draft right now, this book has lost its reason,” the author concluded.

Speaking with AP, Coelho expanded on Bryant’s mission with the children’s book, speaking positively about the NBA player and his goals. He explained that above all, Bryant wanted to create a book that would set a positive example for children, especially those from humble backgrounds. Coelho added that the basketball player had much more on his mind than just sports and competition.

“His tragic death has shown already how he was important to the world, not only to the United States. We will discuss his legacy for many years, much beyond sport.”

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the basketball player died tragically in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. The sports star was reportedly traveling to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, when the helicopter crashed. Gianna was also killed in the accident, in addition to fellow passengers basketball coach Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa Altobelli, and pilot Ara Zobayan.