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‘Somewhere they’ve got all that footage’: Is there a Kobe Bryant docco in the pipeline?


Kobe Bryant documentary speculation

The legend of the ‘Black Mamba’ will never die, but it could be about to burst back into prominence.

There are reports emerging that his final couple of seasons in the NBA included a film crew following his every move. And that means enough unseen stuff to be compiled into a dope Kobe Bryant documentary.

Now there have been Kobe doccos made in the past, covering his insanely competitive mentality, and others that followed certain parts of his career. But one that peaks behind the curtains and maintains a ‘Last Dance-esque’ feel is what true fans are calling out for.

Kobe Bryant documentary
Is there a Kobe Bryant documentary in the pipeline?

And this could become a reality, with The Last Dance‘s Andy Thompson, who shot a majority of the docu-series, having filmed the 2022/23 Lakers season for a potential LeBron James documentary. Considering Thompson has spent time around the Lakers franchise, there’s a real possibility he could’ve been in charge of capturing this reported Kobe Bryant documentary footage.

The final few years of Kobe’s career weren’t as spectacular as his era of championship runs; stuck playing on a Los Angeles team that was in full rebuild-mode. However, personally for Bryant, he started to firmly etch his name into history books; of course capping off his unbelievable career with a 60-point performance. All of this is expected to have been captured by a film crew.

But with so much unknown here’s everything that is known when it comes to a potential Kobe Bryant documentary.

New Kobe Bryant documentary: What we know

John Ireland, the Los Angeles Lakers’ play-by-play radio commentator, sat down on the ‘Awful Announcing Podcast’ in May and spoke directly about the rumours surrounding the film crew following star players at the franchise.

In addition to shedding light onto the fact that a film crew had been following LeBron James through his historic 2022/23 season, Ireland added to the speculation surrounding the unseen footage of Kobe Bryant that was shot in the final seasons of his 20-year NBA career.

“They’ve go it (film on Kobe Bryant)…I think Vanessa (Bryant) is running Kobe’s company now. Somewhere they’ve got all that footage if they want to do it,” Ireland said.

Is there a new Kobe Bryant documentary in the works?

This narrative has been around for a while with reports of this footage first spoken about in 2020 just after the sad passing of Kobe in January that year.

“The last two years of Kobe’s career, we had a film crew following us (the Lakers) everywhere, and when I say everywhere I mean everywhere,” Ireland said back in 2020.

Ultimately Ireland and many believe the Bryant family will have the last say on whether a Kobe Bryant documentary should be green-lit, but the fact that there is even this video available is exciting enough for fans.

What happened in Kobe Bryant’s last two NBA seasons?

As Kobe’s career began to draw to a close, the ‘Black Mamba’ – as he is often referred to as – started to mark his name higher and higher up NBA all-time lists.

Kobe Bryant documentary
Kobe Bryant’s final arena exit as an LA Laker.

These last two seasons of Kobe Bryant’s NBA career are reported to be the years that even more cameras followed him and the Los Angeles Lakers everywhere, capturing these incredible moments.

In December 2014, Bryant passed his idol Michael Jordan on the all-time scorers list to jump into third, but unfortunately was dealt a shoulder injury shortly after, ruling him out of the remainder of the season.

In the pre-season the following campaign, the five-time champion announced that the 2015/16 season was going to be his last. And although the Lakers couldn’t make the playoffs with their young roster, their final match of regular season was one that will live on for eternity.

Kobe delivered a 60-point performance to bid farewell to the NBA against the Utah Jazz, in front of the Lakers’ faithful, cementing himself as one of the best to ever do it.

It would be incredible to see it portrayed in another Kobe Bryant documentary some time down the track.

What other NBA-focused documentaries are in the works?

Documentaries and docu-series are all the rage at the moment in the basketball world, leveraging off unprecedented Last Dance hype in 2020, with streaming services and network companies catering massively to the demand.

Recently, with John Ireland’s appearance on the Awful Announcing Podcast, reports have come out about the potential for a LeBron James documentary in the coming years, after a film crew followed him through what can only be categorised as another historic season, becoming the all-time leading scorer in NBA history.

The greatest shooter of all-time Stephen Curry also has a documentary on the way called ‘Stephen Curry: Underrated‘ which will be released in July 2023.

The film, which first aired at the Sundance Festival, follows the sharp-shooter’s rise from college to the NBA and show never before seen footage of the Warriors run to the championship in 2022.

The farewell game would of course be a hotly anticipated element to any Kobe Bryant documentary.

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