Miami Heat assistant coach says Kobe Bryant inspired him to write children’s book

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Miami Heat assistant coach Caron Butler has written a new children’s book and recently cited the late Kobe Bryant as the inspiration for his endeavor.

Butler spoke to TMZ Sports about his new book and explained how Bryant’s tips on using authenticity in his story would help serve as a motivational tool for children.

“He did like a little moment with me prior to him passing,” Butler said. “We connected and we talked about the writing process and how it’s so tough to be authentic and clear and real, but it’s exactly what the kids need.

“He always told me to ‘Tell your truth, be brave and people gonna accept it or reject it, but be brave in that process.'”

During his 14-year playing career in the NBA, Butler bounced around the league, playing with nine different teams. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2004-05 season.

At that time, Bryant was nearly at the halfway point of his legendary career and already had three NBA titles to his credit. In contrast, Butler was in his third year in the league and arrived as part of the trade package for superstar Shaquille O’Neal.

Bryant ended his career in 2016 and branched out into a number of different areas after he stopped playing. That included writing a children’s book and filmmaking, the latter of which led to Bryant winning an Academy Award.

Sadly, Bryant’s life came to an end in January 2020 when he was killed in a helicopter crash. The devastating news resonated far beyond the NBA and subsequently led to countless stories of Bryant’s willingness to offer bits of advice to other players.

It’s clear that Butler continues to feel a strong bond with Bryant more than two years after the latter’s death. Butler is surely hoping that his new book will show others a new path in battling adversity when it gets released next month.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.