Bryant, who recently led the LA Lakers to an emotional victory against the Utah Jazz in the final game of his 20-year career, was all set to take home the keys to the Orange County estate in Coto de Caza back in 2001, when he and wife Vanessa suddenly backed out of escrow on the property.
The then-22-year-old and his new bride cited privacy concerns and “business issues” as reasons for abandoning the contract, reports the Los Angeles Times. The couple then went on to purchase a nearby property in Orange Country’s Newport Beach for $US4 million – a good $US10 million less than the Coto de Caza home.
When Bryant toured the property in 2001 it was listed for $US13.5 million. That figure jumped to $US22 million in 2008, but the home was delisted in 2009. It is now on the market at $US10 million. The nine-bedroom, 14-bathroom property is really more like a resort town with meandering pathways leading to lookout towers, entertaining areas and a private lake.
The main entertainer’s pavilion looks like something out of a five-star hotel with multiple seating areas set among stately columns overhanging with tropical greenery. But by far the pièce de résistance of the property – apart from the fact that Kobe Bryant once considered it – has to be the theme park-esque swimming pool area which features a lagoon, waterfalls,
slides, caves and a replica pirate ship, complete with cannons and cabin, anchored into the poolside. You’ve got to feel sorry for Bryant’s two daughters, Natalia, 13, and Giana, 10, who must be kicking dad knowing that he passed up the house with the water park.
The mind-blowing mansion also features a large home theatre, a billiard room with hand-rubbed wood and copper ceilings and an eight-car garage, just enough room for Bryant’s Lamborghini, Range Rover and Bentley collection. Although Bryant and his family never got the chance to live in the property, the third-highest earning basketball player in the sport’s history has made his fair share of real estate headlines over the years.
Last year, Bryant sold one of his two homes in Newport Beach, setting a price record for the suburb at $US6 million.