Sunday, April 26, marked the three-month of anniversary of the day that Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other people were tragically killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. Everyone has tried their best to heal at their own pace since that heartbreaking January morning, but every now and then there is a cruel reminder that Bryant is longer with us, like when he was officially voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last month.
On Sunday, we’ll get another one of those reminders.
According to Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times, the fifth episode of the wildly-popular ESPN documentary series, “The Last Dance,” will be dedicated to Bryant, who modeled his game after the primary subject of the documentary series, Michael Jordan.
Episode 5 is dedicated to Kobe Bryant. His interview was filmed at his office in Costa Mesa last July and they edited it a week before his passing. They went back and looked at it after but it was perfect; nothing needed to be changed. The only edit was the dedication at the top.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 2, 2020
Thus far, the series has jumped back and forth between seasons, but the team it follows the closest is the 1997-78 Bulls. That same season, a 19-year-old Bryant made his first NBA All-Star game, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see that used as the segue for Bryant’s interview.
However, the relationship between Bryant and Jordan went beyond basketball, as we all discovered during Kobe and Gianna’s memorial service last month.
“Maybe it’s a surprise to people that Kobe and I were very close friends, but we were very close friends,” a tearful Jordan said at Bryant’s memorial service at Staples Center on in February. “Kobe was my dear friend, he was like a little brother. Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I — I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”
Expect that relationship to be explored further on Sunday’s episode, with some footage that’s never been seen before. It might hurt to watch now that Bryant’s gone, but it might be nice to look back at the time we had with him.