Sports | April 27, 2020 11:33 am

Kobe Bryant’s Final NBA Season With Lakers Was Filmed by All-Access Crew

His last dance may get the ESPN documentary treatment

Clippers-Lakers Game Postponed After Kobe Bryant's Death
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016.
Harry How/Getty

At some point in the future, Kobe Bryant’s last dance in the NBA may get the ESPN treatment.

Kobe Bryant’s final season in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers was documented in much the same way as Michael Jordan’s final season with the Bulls in Chicago, the subject of ESPN’s The Last Dance.

During Bryant’s last year in L.A., an NBA Entertainment camera crew had unprecedented access to capture every moment of the perennial All-Star’s final run as a Laker.

Comprised of several Lakers staffers, the camera crew had access to the locker room, training room, team practice facility and charter plane.

In the past, players had the option to tell camera crews to stop shooting and get lost if they were gathering footage that might be deemed too sensitive. That was not an option with Bryant’s crew, according to a former staffer.

“They had unprecedented and, by far, greater access than anyone else ever,” John Black, who led the Lakers’ public relations department for 27 years, told ESPN. “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 2015-16 season with the Lakers was Bryant’s 20th in the league. He capped it off in a memorable manner by scoring 60 points in his final game.

During that finale, as many as six personal camera crews were present and capturing footage.

Though nothing is imminent, the footage is currently being edited for a possible documentary which could be released in the future.

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