On Sunday, ESPN aired the first two episodes of “The Last Dance,” a 10-part documentary about Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls. The documentary has generated a ton of buzz, in part because of how much access the camera crew had over the course of the season.
Bryant’s camera crew, several Lakers staffers from that season said, had unparalleled access in locker rooms both at home and on the road, in the training room, throughout the team’s practice facility and even on the team’s charter plane ...
Sources close to the matter told ESPN that the footage had been in the editing stages for a potential documentary to be released years from now — thought it is unclear when exactly that would be — and that Bryant had seen edited material and provided feedback in the months leading up to his death. It is unlikely those plans have changed, the sources said.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone will complain about seeing unearthed footage of Bryant and the Lakers, especially now that Bryant is no longer with us, however, while Bryant’s documentary might be similar to “The Last Dance” conceptually, Jordan’s last season with the Bulls and Bryant’s last season with the Lakers couldn’t have been more different.
Jordan capped off his career with the Bulls with his third championship in as many years and a Finals MVP. Bryant’s farewell season ended in dramatic fashion, too, but the 81 games before his 60-point swan song were unwatchable, and he was hardly an exception.
For that reason, it will be interesting to see how the documentary is pieced together. Will it be centered around his farewell tour? Or will it follow him through his struggles with father time?
Whatever the case may be, it sounds like we’ll find out eventually, which is pretty exciting.