Books created by Kobe Bryant’s content company soared in popularity in the days following the basketball legend’s death in a helicopter crash.
A trio of the books created by Bryant’s Granity Studios will occupy the top three spots on the Middle Grade Hardcover portion of The New York Times’ best-seller list for Feb. 16. “Epoca: The Tree Of Ecrof” will be No. 1 on that list, followed by “Legacy And The Queen” and “The Wizenard: Training Camp.”
All three of the books were written for children between the ages of 10 and 14. Bryant, in an interview with The Associated Press in 2018, said his mission for the books was “to combine education and inspiration and build around the concepts of what kids go through when they are playing a sport.”
Another of Bryant’s books, “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play” has also reached No. 1 on Amazon’s non-fiction sales charts this week. Bryant released that book in 2018, the same year that he won an Academy Award in the best animated short for his ode to the game called “Dear Basketball.”
Granity additionally produces a podcast series called “The Punies,” tales about a boy who plays sports with friends. Bryant was also the creator and writer of the “Detail” sports analysis series of programs on ESPN, and Granity has said it will continue as Bryant wanted — “using creative education to inspire people to be the best versions of themselves.”
Feinstein calls for crash-warning systems
LOS ANGELES — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is calling for federal rules that crash-warning systems be required on commercial helicopters like the one that crashed in foggy weather last month outside Los Angeles, killing Kobe Bryant and eight other people.
The helicopter carrying Bryant and the others did not have a device called the Terrain Awareness and Warning System that signals when an aircraft is in danger of hitting ground. The National Transportation Safety Board had recommended the system be required for helicopters. But the Federal Aviation Administration only requires it for air ambulances.
Reds complete 1-year deal with Pedro Strop
CINCINNATI — The Reds completed a one-year, $1,825,000 deal with right-hander Pedro Strop on Wednesday, their first move to upgrade the bullpen in an offseason focused on offense.
Strop, 34, was part of the Cubs’ bullpen the last six years. A hamstring injury limited him to 50 appearances last season, when he went 2-5 with a 4.97 ERA, 10 saves and six blown saves.
Strop had a rough middle of the season after returning from the injury. He went 1-1 with four blown saves in July and 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA and one save in August. He finished strong, putting up a 2.00 ERA in 11 appearances in September.
Cubs invite Morrow to spring training
CHICAGO — The Cubs announced former closer Brandon Morrow’s minor league contract on Wednesday and said he will report to big league spring training.
If added to the 40-man roster, Morrow would get a one-year contract paying a $1.5 million salary while in the major leagues and a $150,000 salary while in the minors.
Yankees lefty Paxton has back surgery
NEW YORK — Yankees left-hander James Paxton had back surgery Wednesday and is expected to be sidelined until May or June. New York said Dr. Andrew Dossett in Dallas performed a microscopic lumbar discectomy, in which a herniated disk is repaired, and removed a peridiscal cyst. The Yankees estimated Paxton’s timeline to pitch in a major league game is three to four months.
Twins, Tigers to play in Dominican Republic
ORLANDO, Fla. — Major League Baseball is returning to the Dominican Republic for the first time in 20 years, with the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers playing a spring training game in Santo Domingo on March 7.
MLB has never played a regular-season game in the Dominican Republic. The last exhibition there was between Boston and Houston in 2000 at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal, also the site of this year’s game.
Braves beat Greene in salary arbitration
PHOENIX — The Atlanta Braves defeated Shane Greene in the first salary arbitration case this year, and the reliever will be paid $6.25 million instead of his request for $6.75 million.
Arbitrators Gary Kendellen, Brian Keller and Allen Ponak made the decision Wednesday, a day after hearing arguments. A 31-year-old right-hander, Greene was a first-time All-Star last year, when he made $4 million.
Arizona State names Lewis a co-coordinator
TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State has named Marvin Lewis and Antonio Pierce as co-defensive coordinators.
Head coach Herm Edwards made the announcement Tuesday. Lewis, a coaching veteran of 25 years in the NFL, joined the program in 2019 as a special adviser and served as interim defensive backs coach in the 2019 Sun Bowl. He spent 16 seasons as the Cincinnati Bengals’ head coach, setting team records with 131 wins, seven playoff appearances and four division titles. Pierce played nine NFL seasons with Washington and the New York Giants, winning a Super Bowl with the Giants in 2007.
Kitchens among additions to Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Recently fired Cleveland Browns coach Freddie Kitchens has been hired as the New York Giants tight end coach.
New coach Joe Judge announced his 20-member staff on Wednesday, retaining six men from Pat Shurmur’s staff. Judge previously announced that former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett would be his offensive coordinator and Patrick Graham would handle the defense. Thomas McGaughey was retained as the special teams coach.
Bruins edge Blackhawks in overtime
CHICAGO — Charlie McAvoy scored 1:18 into overtime to lift the Boston Bruins past the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night at the United Center.
Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat and Boston’s Sean Kuraly scored in the second period.