Kobe Bryant has been pivoting and pump faking his way to media since his retirement, and his next major project was announced Friday. ESPN will be linking up with Kobe — who has been creating shortform video content for their platforms with the Canvas series already — to deliver what sounds like a fascinating voyage into his basketball mind.
The concept for the new venture is that Kobe will provide “unparalleled game observations” as if he played in a game that will, of course, be one of the featured broadcasts on ESPN. He’ll do so by discussing the process of breaking down film, teaching “the next generation” how to collect the kind of knowledge he gained over his 20-year career.
Perhaps what’s most fascinating about the new venture for Bryant is how committed he is to establishing himself as a creator. Kobe has been laser focused on his new calling in media since before the final buzzer sounded on his career on Apr. 13, 2016, documenting his final season through film. Kobe Inc. and his business endeavors have become the cage where he stores his new inspiration. The man once obsessed with every detail of the game of basketball — a gift he’ll be passing to those watching in the 15-episode Detail series — has a fresh challenge to master.
His transformation is still in its infancy phases, but Kobe has fully embraced his new passion. His circumstances in life certainly allow him the freedom to do as he pleases, but the further he goes down this path, the clearer it is he’s not just dabbling into something as a hobby to generate revenue.
There’s a lesson to be learned from this. Much like many — self included — have looked at Bryant’s dedication to the game of basketball as a source of inspiration, his transformation into a new career is his latest lob to those paying attention. It’s not uncommon for retired athletes to expand their business reach once the swish of the net concludes, but in modern history, how many have gone headfirst into a medium like video as Kobe has? He’s rolling out project, after project, after project, and shows no signs of slowing down.
It’s fair to point out that he has the advantage of being Kobe freakin’ Bryant, so working with the best of the best in the industry is a goal he can set on every idea. The counterpoint is that he brings his expertise and credibility to the table to be molded by other incredibly talented people, making it easy to build around him as the focal piece of his work.
That’s the game plan for Detail:
“Studying game film is how the best get better. It’s the university for a master’s degree in basketball.” said Bryant. “I learned how to study film from the best coaches of all time – Phil Jackson and Tex Winter. Detail provides an opportunity to teach that skill to the next generation on large platform with ESPN.”
Taking what he already knows — in this case basketball — and applying it in an entirely new way, as he forges his way through mastering an entirely new craft, is a perfect way for Kobe to explore his new passion. For now he remains focused on creating content around hoops, but how long until he stretches his legs a tries something different? It seems like an inevitability from someone who’s always prided himself on digging to the depths of every corner of his obsessions.
Let this be a reminder that nothing in life is set in stone. Once one door shuts, your lessons in life will be ready to turn the knob to lead you to your next journey.