Even after he retired from the NBA, Kobe Bryant made sure to keep himself ingrained in the basketball world.
In fact, he almost became a permanent member of TNT's "Inside the NBA" show. According to Charles Barkley, he signed with the network before pulling out due to the workload involved.
"He actually signed with us but when we started telling him like, we had to do a bunch of radio shows. Like I go on this show on Monday from Thursday night TNT. Same thing on Tuesday same thing on Wednesday, same thing on Thursday. He like, 'yeah I don't wanna do all that stuff.'
He says, 'well you have to promote the show, Kobe.' Like I said, it's probably only 10 people in the world know that, that he actually signed with us and said 'nah I'm not doing all that.' But it was fun funny because we always have something to do."
"Inside the NBA" is probably the most popular sports show on television. Charles, Shaq, Ernie, and Kenny each bring their own element to the program and it is part of the reason why it's such a joy for fans to watch.
No doubt, Kobe Bryant would have been an excellent addition. His understanding of the game was seconded only by his passion and many of the projects he was involved in before his death proved how great he was in the media world.
Most importantly, though, he had the respect of his peers and competitors.
"The players opinion is what matters the most to me, the guys you played against, the people you respect, your peers," Bryant once said. "That's what means the most to me."
It was Kobe's decision to avid the gig on "Inside the NBA." With his days in the league over, Bryant clearly wanted most of his time dedicated to his family and loved ones. Nobody can blame him for that.
Still, it's fun to think about Kobe sitting behind the desk with the guys on a permanent basis. It would have been a real treat to hear him share his knowledge and perspective on today's game.