Brazilian author Paulo Coelho revealed on Monday that he and Kobe Bryant were working on a children’s book together before the tragic helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others.
Coelho, the author of the international bestseller “The Alchemist,” also told the Associated Press that he had no intentions of finishing the book, which they began writing a few months ago, without the basketball legend, confirming that he did indeed delete the draft of the book, as he said he would on Twitter.
“You were more than a great player, dear Kobe Bryant. I learned a lot by interacting with you,” Coelho wrote on the social media site, sharing a picture of a direct message between him and Bryant from last August, in which Bryant approached him about writing a book together. “Will delete the draft right now, this book has lost its reason.”
Fans of Bryant responded with disappointment, saying that the book could still serve as an inspiration and begging him not to delete it.
However, the 72-year-old writer told AP that “it didn’t make any sense to publish without” Bryant, adding that “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.”
As the AP notes, Bryant was a fan of Coelho’s writing, calling his most famed work, “The Alchemist,” his favorite book.
According to the report, the book they were working on together was meant to inspire underprivileged kids to overcome through sports.
“Kobe was always very concerned about making a book that was a positive example for children, especially those coming from humble beginnings,” Coelho said.
The author declined to say how much of the book had already been written, or if the book already had a title.