“I deleted the draft because it didn’t make any sense to publish without him,” Coelho told the Associated Press. “It wouldn’t add anything relevant to him or his family.
“That doesn’t stop me from writing someday about things I learned from Kobe and how much of a larger-than-life person he was,” Coelho added. “But the children’s book did not make sense anymore.”
Bryant, who published an autobiography and a young-adult fantasy series with Wesley King before his death, was a fan of “The Alchemist,” recommending it to players such as Kyrie Irving and his agent, Rob Pelinka, who currently is general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James also is a fan of the book.
In 2016, Bryant told the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport that he had reached out to Coelho to help him with a children’s book, and he and Coelho began what the AP described as a “very casual” book project a few months ago.
“I asked Paulo Coelho to help me out,” Bryant said in 2016. “We both want to dedicate stories to children to help them believe in themselves from childhood. I don’t rule out that we will publish a book together.”
Said Coelho on Monday: “I saw him enough times to assure he had much more than sports on his mind. It wasn’t all about 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.”
Twitter users responded to Coelho urging him not to delete the draft:
please dont delete. Take some time, gather your thoughts, and let the emotion flow into words. Doesnt matter if it takes 2 weeks or 2 years - take as much time as you need. But greatness often lies on the other side of this— Osagie Igbeare (@humbleSeraph72) January 27, 2020
Speak with his wife and possibly finish it. Proceeds should then go to his passions— Tavita Masau (@Tavita10) January 26, 2020
I think you should still write it. My guess it’s like a biography of Kobe so it would be great to do it so people can read about him and so will the generations to come don’t you think? Like some type of legacy of sorts— Teahyung.Z.I.P. ⁷ ❄️ (@VminOwnsMyHeart) January 26, 2020