Within hours of learning about the sudden death of NBA icon Kobe Bryant, writer Paulo Coelho deleted the draft of a children’s book he was cowriting with Bryant, according to the Associated Press.
The 72-year-old author of “The Alchemist” said it didn’t make sense to publish the book on his own after Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash on Sunday, concluding it wouldn’t be relevant to Bryant or his family.
Coelho told The Associated Press on Monday that he and Bryant had developed the idea for the project soon after Bryant’s retirement from the NBA in 2016. The two started putting the idea into words a few months ago. (RELATED: Shaq Cries While Remembering Kobe Bryant, Says He Wishes He Could Talk To Him One More Time)
The collaborative project aimed to encourage children from underprivileged backgrounds to use sports to overcome adversity.
“Kobe was always very concerned about making a book that was a positive example for children, especially those coming from humble beginnings,” Coelho said.
“You were more than a great player, dear Kobe Bryant,” Coelho tweeted in a post on Sunday. “I learned a lot by interacting with you. Will delete the draft right now, this book has lost its reason.”
You were more than a great player, dear Kobe Bryant. I learned a lot by interacting with you. Will delete the draft right now, this book has lost its reason pic.twitter.com/pZWyT8xObw
— Paulo Coelho (@paulocoelho) January 26, 2020
Coelho’s decision didn’t sit well with fans who responded to the post urging Coelho to reconsider his decision.
“Don’t delete it,” said one Twitter user. “Work on it in memory of him.”
Another user suggested Coelho donate the profit from the book to charity while some fans argued Bryant’s family should have some say in the future of the project.
The 41-year-old died on Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Gianni, his 13-year-old daughter, was among the other casualties who died in the crash.