Kobe Bryant’s public persona is one of intensity and seriousness. We view Bryant as having a one-track mind about winning basketball games and nothing else.
But Bryant has a fun side. The Los Angeles Lakers star is an enormous fan of pop singer Katy Perry and was nervous when the two first met, as revealed in an outstanding long form piece about Bryant in Sports Illustrated by Chris Ballard.
Some of Kobe’s favorite topics of conversation include: what Bryant read on Techcrunch the night before, the latest news on Buzzfeed and whether Katy Perry is a genius businesswoman or just a plain genius. (Bryant has been a longtime admirer of Perry’s and was nervous when he met her for the first time recently, when both happened to be dining at Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.) At one point Bryant even appears to break a sweat.
We’ve seen hints of Bryant’s Perry fandom before. In a profile about Bryant in the New Yorker in March, writer Ben McGrath revealed that Kobe and “and a business associate have a running bet on the staying power of the pop stars Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.” Bryant obviously has his money on Perry.
While Perry’s staying power in the pop world seems to be secure, it’s Bryant that will head into next season trying to prove he still belongs in his field of work.
Many doubt that Bryant, who will be 36 when next season rolls around and appeared in just six games this past before a season-ending injury, will be able to get back to elite form.
Perhaps he’ll have to channel his inner Perry.