As viewers consume ESPN’s new Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance as a substitute for extreme and rapid NBA withdrawal — and, you know, for the human element of watching one of the greatest to ever do it during the final, incredible season of the 1990s Chicago Bulls dynasty — the sports network of record has more news to break. It seems that Kobe Bryant also documented his last run with the Lakers, hiring a film crew and getting them an unprecedented look into the organization throughout the 2015–16 season. The former head of Lakers PR told ESPN they had “greater access than anyone else ever,” adding, “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.” The team ended up with the worst record in franchise history that year, but it was the end of Bryant’s uninterrupted two decades with the Lakers, which he capped off with a legendary 60-point game.
It is unknown at this point, however, what will become of the footage. Sources told ESPN that footage was “in the editing stages for a potential documentary to be released years from now,” but no timetable was given, nor were any details about format. (A multipart docuseries? A feature film? Unknown.) It was also reported that Bryant had seen and given feedback on some edited footage before his death in January. “Kobe would say something in the locker room and I would kind of think about it like, ‘Oh, that’s gonna look pretty sick when they film it,’” Larry Nance Jr., who was a Laker at the time, told ESPN. “Or, you know, that 60-point game or [him] playing in Philadelphia that last time. ‘This is pretty monumental. I’m so glad somebody’s going to have a way to remember this.’”