Report: Documentary Crew Had ‘Unprecedented’ Access to Kobe Bryant’s Last Season With Lakers

Jonathan Sherman
2 Min Read

Amidst the popularity of ESPN’s new documentary series “The Last Dance,” which covers the final season of Michael Jordan’s career with the Chicago Bulls, news has emerged that Kobe Bryant’s final season with the Los Angeles Lakers was given the all-access treatment by a documentary film crew as well.

“That season was Bryant’s 20th in the purple and gold of Los Angeles,” ESPN’s Baxter Holmes wrote. “And just as the camera crew had unprecedented access to chronicle every moment of Jordan’s final season with the Bulls, the same holds true for Bryant’s final NBA season. The crew expanded in size during his last campaign, and as many as six personal camera crews were present during his 60-point finale.”

John Black, who led the Lakers’ public relations department for over two decades, clarified just how rare the camera crew’s access was.

“They had unprecedented and, by far, greater access than anyone else ever,” he said. “We certainly allowed them to do everything we could within what the league would allow, and sometimes, with a wink and look-the-other-way, allowed them even more.”

Though the news of this footage is surely exciting for the millions of still-heartbroken Bryant fans, it doesn’t seem as though a documentary series will be hitting screens anytime soon.

“Sources close to the matter told ESPN that the footage had been in the editing stages for a potential documentary to be released years from now — thought it is unclear when exactly that would be — and that Bryant had seen edited material and provided feedback in the months leading up to his death,” Holmes wrote. “It is unlikely those plans have changed, the sources said.”

Since Bryant’s tragic passing, numerous stories have emerged that have detailed his passion, brilliance and kindness.

Surely, all that and more would be on display if a documentary chronicling his final NBA season does ultimately end up getting made.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.