Bryant set to bring KO punch to UFC with BodyArmour
NEW YORK (AP) — Kobe Bryant is set to enter the UFC octagon — at least, with a sports drink.
The retired Los Angeles Lakers great is an investor with BodyArmor, the first official sports drink of UFC, and hit New York on Thursday to promote the partnership.
He could have used something stiff to ease the sting of the Dodgers’ loss to Houston in the World Series.
“Heartbreaker, man,” he said. “I’m happy for Houston and they derserve it. But being in LA all these years, my heart breaks for them.”
Bryant was flanked by UFC President Dana White and fighters Cody Garbrandt, Francis Ngannou and Cythia Calvillo just a left hook away from Madison Square Garden. Garbrandt defends the 135-pound title against T.J. Dillashaw on the UFC 218 card Saturday night at the Garden.
Bryant, who gave an informal backstage pep talk to the fighters, can’t stick around for the card. He said he was in a rush to get home to his three daughters, the oldest of which, Gianna, has flashed some of the same basketball skills as her dad. Bryant has said he has no interest in a Lakers’ front office role and is content to keep his scouting reports within the family.
“I coach my daughter’s sixth grade team. That’s the extent of it all,” Bryant said. “She’s a beast. She’s tough. She’s a little firecracker, man.”
Bryant, the third-leading scorer in NBA history, called his first year of retirement “lovely.” like John Williams, who is a composer, who seemingly has nothing to do with what I do but has everything to do with it in terms of how you manage a team, how you focus on details.”
BodyArmour unveiled its new flavor “Knockout Punch,” specfically for UFC. BodyArmour says it’s the fastest growing sports drink in its category, and boasts 110 percent increase in sales from last year.
BodyArmour wants to usher in a new generation of sports greats as the undisputed sports drink champ.
“It’s the boxing of “I started thinking sports drinks. That’s about what comes next what Gatorade is,” when I was 21 years BodyArmour founder old,” Bryant said. “When Mike Repole said. you retire, how do you It’s the kind of trash grow, how do you mature? talk Bryant could support. And also, how do And it’s just a small you understand the market?” reason why Bryant has invested in the company.
Bryant has more than “I was obsessive business interests to about every little detail,” keep him busy in retirement. Bryant said. “From footwear He wrote an ode to what I wear to to basketball titled, recovery. If I feel like I “Dear Basketball,” that could gain any type of he recited in September advantage whatsoever, I alongside “Jaws” film obsessed over that detail. composer John Williams So yeah, this is something and his orchestra in Los I wish I would Angeles at the Hollywood have had.” Bowl. He wants to The Lakers will retire become a mentor to athletes, Bryant’s No. 8 and No. in the corporate 24 in a ceremony Dec. world or anyone who 18 during their game wants to pick the brain against Golden State. of the five-time NBA Bryant is an 18-time AllStar champion. and the Lakers’
“How can I take the franchise leader in knowledge that I’ve points (33,643), games learned in my profession played (1,346), 3-pointers and help them,” Bryant (1,827), steals asked. “I’ve had that in (1,944) and free throws my life. I’ve had guys (8,378).