Do you know how big Kobe Bryant’s inheritance is?
It seems like yesterday, but it happened on January 26, 2020. That day, the helicopter in which Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were traveling crashed in the area of Calabasas, California.
In the accident, seven other passengers passed away: John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan.
To this day, Kobe Bryant’s figure is as big as it ever was, both as an athlete and a person.
In private, however, his inheritors are managing the difficult questions involving his monumental patrimony. Bryant accumulated hundreds of millions during his almost 20-year career in the NBA.
The NBA star's inheritors are his widow, Vanessa Bryant, and their three surviving daughters: Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.
According to Forbes, we are talking about 600 million dollars, consisting of his salary with the Los Angeles Lakers, his partnerships, and some wise investments.
The 'Black Mamba' played for 20 seasons with the Lakers. The Los Angeles team paid the shooting guard a total of 328 million dollars in salary.
The basketball star made 16.4 million dollars per season. And this was in a time where salaries were not even close to the present amounts - nowadays, in some cases, NBA players' salaries can reach 45 million dollars.
Interestingly, Kobe Bryant earned more money with sponsorships than as a player. According to ‘Celebrity Net Worth’ it was a total of 350 million dollars.
The ‘Black Mamba’ - as he was known in the basketball world - was a magnet for brands and had contracts with McDonald's, Spalding, Nutella, Nintendo, Coca-Cola, Lenovo, Turkish Airlines, Panini, and Hublot throughout his career.
Kobe Bryant started his career with Adidas as his sponsor. In 1996, he signed a 6-year deal with them for 8 million dollars a year.
After controversies about an alleged abuse scandal, some brands abandoned the Lakers player. Nike took over from Adidas. In 2003 Kobe signed a five-year deal with them for 45 million dollars.
The contract with Nike meant 9 million dollars a year at a very difficult time in Bryant's life - outside the sporting world. On the court, the ‘Black Mamba’ triumphed, winning three consecutive NBA rings in the Lakers and playing with the best partner he could ever have: Shaquille O’Neal.
Among his most important investments before the helicopter accident was his creation of Granity Studios. As a player who was pure amusement on the court, he also wanted to entertain outside of it, in film and TV.
In fact, the short film ‘Dear Basketball’, one of the first creations of the studios, won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 2018.
It may sound strange, but since he died, Kobe Bryant has still been making money.
One example is his autobiography. 'The Mamba Mentality: How I Play.' It came out posthumously and was an incredible sales success.
This and some other earnings put Kobe Bryant in sixth place on the Forbes' list of ‘Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities of 2020' with a sum of 20 million dollars.
The biggest profit for Vanessa Bryant and her daughters would come at the end of August 2021. As it turned out, Kobe Bryant had acquired 15% of Bodyarmor shares, a sports drink company in which he invested 8 million dollars around 2018.
Three years later, Coca-Cola bought Bodyarmor in a transaction worth 5,6 billion dollars that has reportedly earned the Bryant heirs around 400 million dollars. That’s two-thirds of the inheritance Kobe left them.
What’s more, the NBA star widow still has 10% of Bodyarmor shares, which makes Kobe Bryant's visionary investment a huge success.
It’s worth mentioning that it was the presence of Kobe Bryant that partially helped the company to fully launch. So it went both ways.
But now we come to the problematic part of the story: who is entitled to which part of the money? Even the closest relatives appear to disagree with each other. Vanessa Bryant’s mother has gone as far as to sue her own daughter.
Sofia Laine claimed that her son-in-law, Kobe Bryant, had promised to take care of her financially for the rest of her life. She demanded to be economically compensated for all the years she had worked as "a longtime personal assistant and nanny," People magazine reports.
Vanessa Bryant sent out a statement refuting her mother's claims. She said that "for nearly two decades, we arranged for my mother to live in our nearby properties, at no cost to her because she had claimed that she didn't have any money to buy her own home after her divorce."
Apart from this battle about the inheritance, and the astronomic figures it is about, it's likely that Bryant's family would prefer nothing more than to have Kobe and Gianna with them again.