Tuesday, Jan. 26, will mark the one-year anniversary of the helicopter crash in Calabasas that killed nine people, including Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. On Sunday, ESPN will dedicate a block of its programming to honoring Bryant, headlined by a one-hour primetime special titled “Kobe – The Legend, The Legacy.”
The SportsCenter Special will features interviews from Pau Gasol, who won two championships with Bryant in Los Angeles; Jerry West, who mentored Bryant in his early years with the Lakers; and WNBA Stars Sue Bird, Geno Auriema, Sabrina Ionescu and Chiney Ogwumike. It will also include narrated features from Los Angeles Sparks legend Lisa Leslie, rapper and longtime Lakers fan Snoop Dogg, and Stephen A. Smith.
Here’s a synopsis of the special via ESPN:
Over the hour, the program will look back at the many facets of the all-time great, including his bravado as a teenager entering the NBA directly out of high school and his historic career with the Lakers that led to five NBA championships. The special also will examine how after his playing days were over, Bryant shattered expectations by finding success in Hollywood and helping forge paths for the WNBA and women in sports, and sparking the #girldad movement.
Before the special, ESPN will re-air Bryant’s final game with the Lakers, in which he famously scored 60 points against the Utah Jazz and led them to a win.
The game will be broadcast at 3:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. The SportsCenter special, “Kobe – The Legend, The Legacy,” will air immediately after at 6 p.m. PT, and re-air across ESPN’s networks before Tuesday. On Tuesday, “The Jump” will have a two-hour episode remembering Bryant. That will air at 2 p.m.
We understand that not everyone is ready to watch tributes for Bryant, or even old games, but for those that are, it seems like there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate Bryant leading up to what promises to be an emotional day on Tuesday.