Author Paulo Coelho has deleted the draft of a children’s book he was working on with Kobe Bryant.
The basketball player, 41, was killed in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday, alongside eight other passengers, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
He had been working on a novel with The Alchemist writer Coelho before his passing, with the 72-year-old novelist revealing to The Associated Press that the pair started discussing the project back in 2016 – when Bryant retired after a 20-year National Basketball Association (NBA) career.
However, within hours of hearing the sad news, Coelho vowed to delete the draft, rather than finish without the sportsman on board.
“I deleted the draft because it didn’t make any sense to publish without him,” he explained. “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. But the children’s book did not make sense anymore.”
Coelho’s decision disappointed many of Bryant’s fans, who flooded the writer’s social media channels asking for the draft not to be erased. But Coelho suggested Bryant had a particular vision for the work, which he couldn’t execute without him.
He added of his friend and writing partner’s passing: “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.”