NBA star Kobe Bryant discusses day with Apple's Jony Ive set up by simple cold callFuture basketball hall-of-famer Kobe Bryant is planning for life beyond the court, and takes it upon himself to cold-call some of the smartest minds in business for advice. Among those he's spoken with is Apple's famed chief designer Jony Ive.
Kobe Bryant in 2012. Photo via Christopher Johnson.
Bryant sat down with Bloomberg and spoke about his day with Ive and what he learned from Apple. The National Basketball Association player admitted that he's not afraid to ask "simple" and maybe even "stupid" questions to people like Ive as he looks to gain some of their expertise.
"I went up to Apple, spent the day there talking with Jony and just kind of picking his brain about products and things like that," the L.A. Lakers shooting guard said. "What makes them who they are and why. Very, very curious about that and understanding that."
Ive said he has also spoken with Oprah Winfrey, Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker, and political pundit Arianna Huffington, all known for their own considerable successes in business.
Bryant has invested millions in the sports drink BodyArmor, and is looking to make further investments. At 35 years old and with a series of injuries that held him to just six games last season, the five-time NBA champion is looking to establish himself for his next moves when he inevitably retires.
From talking with Ive, Bryant said there are a number of similarities in what he does on the court and what Apple does in creating new products. He noted that Ive may have an end goal when he is designing a new product, but he must think sequentially in order to achieve that goal.
"It's no different than building a basketball game," he said. "You start with where you want your game to be, what would make your game most unstoppable or hard to deal with, and now you work backwards from there and you start building it one piece at a time, one move at a time, one counter at a time."
Bryant revealed that Ive also took interest in his basketball mind when the two spent a day together. According to Bryant, Ive was curious how the longtime Laker prepares, studies and views the game.