Kobe Bryant: 'I've Failed' If Basketball Is Biggest Accomplishment

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 02:  BodyArmor investor Kobe Bryant speaks to media during the UFC BodyArmor partnership announcement inside Madison Square Garden on November 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant says he's motivated to make the next 20 years of his life better than his Hall of Fame basketball career.

On Monday, Samantha Pell of Yahoo Sports passed along comments Bryant made at ComplexCon 2017 about his focus after retiring from the NBA.

"Fast-forward 20 years from now: If basketball is the best thing I've done in my life, then I've failed," he said. "It's a very simple mission, very simple quest, very simple goal. These next 20 years need to be better than the previous 20. It's as simple as that, and that is what drives me."

Bryant is one of the best players in basketball history with five NBA titles, a Most Valuable Player Award, 18 All-Star selections and 11 first-team All-NBA nods among the accolades on his resume.

The 39-year-old Philadelphia native also earned his reputation as one of the league's fiercest competitors during a career with the Lakers that spanned two decades. Trying to fill the massive void by finding something new to fuel that internal fire is a challenge for a lot of former athletes.

Kobe admitted during his appearance at ComplexCon it's not easy to press the reset button and start his new ventures from scratch after the NBA legacy he built:

"My challenge is letting go of what was and focus on building what is to come, and that is very, very hard. Twenty years a career. Legacy. Kobe Bryant. Things of that nature, the easy thing would be to build upon that still. The hard thing to do is to let that go, right, and now focus on building a studio, focus on building a content company, from books to films and everything in between. Focus on what is ahead, and it takes a lot of bravery to be able to do that because what if that falls flat, then what? It is always easier to go with what is. But that ain't what we do. We push forward, and that is the biggest challenge ahead."

Even though Bryant is working on the next chapter of his life, he's shown a willingness to help NBA players who seek out his advice.

He worked out with Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard during the 2016 offseason and has also spent time with Gordon Hayward, who he reached out to with an Instagram post after the Boston Celtics star suffered a gruesome injury in his team debut this season.

While Kobe is working toward a new off-court legacy, his impact is still present in the games of some NBA superstars.