Beverly Hills, Calif. — Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is one of the most famous athletes in the world, but the upcoming Showtime documentary Kobe Bryant’s Muse, scheduled to premiere in early November, won’t be a biography of Bryant or an inside look at the ferocity of “The Black Mamba.”
Instead, said Showtime Sports executive VP Stephen Espinoza Friday during the TCA summer press tour panel for the documentary, “we show different side of him.”
Case in point: director Gotham Chopra noted that cameras followed Bryant to the nutritionist last year after his second injury. “There was a humility that I was not really prepared to see,” said Chopra.
Approaching 36 years old and his 19th season with the Lakers, Bryant can see the finish line. The injuries that caused him to miss all but six games of the 2013-14 season helped shape the narrative of Kobe Bryant’s Muse — but Bryant had wanted to do a project like this even beforehand.
The idea, Byrant said, in part came when he was lying in bed one night, thinking that “now that my career is coming to an end, it would be fun to tell the genesis of where my mentality came from.” He also wanted to answer the questions that kids at his basketball camps always ask him about: what drives him and motivates him.
Bryant doesn’t know what the future holds for him. “It’s about having that next wave of things,” he said. “It is a little nerve-wracking ... At times like this, you really have to lean on muses and mentors going forward.” And that is the essence of Kobe Bryant’s Muse.
"Whatever you do,” Bryant said, “be passionate about it.”
Other highlights from the panel included:
—Despite being the subject of the documentary, Bryant serves as a producer. Chopra said they never had any conversations about things being off limits and it’s not as if Bryant has creative control. Bryant said his role as producer is in title alone. “I’m not really sure what producer means, what they do,” he said.
—Upon arriving late to the panel at the Beverly Hilton, Bryant quipped, “Sorry I’m late, I was out looking for a head coach.” The Lakers are currently in the market after Mike D’Antoni resigned as head coach in April.
—It wouldn’t be a Q&A with Bryant without questions about the Lakers. Bryant said he is proud of the franchise’s effort in going after prized free agents this summer even though it was unsuccessful. “It makes you want to run through a wall (for them) even more now,” he said. “Now it’s my job to go out there next season and lay it all on the line.” Commenting on the Chicago Bulls landing former Lakers teammate Pau Gasol, Bryant said, “Christmas came early in Chicago.”