As the one-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death approaches, ESPN will honor the basketball superstar’s life in a one-hour, prime-time special program airing Sunday night, January 24, at 9 p.m. ET.
SportsCenter presents Kobe – The Legend, The Legacy will be hosted by Jeremy Schaap and Lisa Salters from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., where Bryant will be inducted later in 2021. The special will air two days prior to the anniversary of the helicopter crash that claimed the life of the former Los Angeles Lakers star, as well as his daughter, Gianna, and seven others, on January 26, 2020.
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.
Among the features, tributes, interviews, vignettes and essays in the program:
- Bryant’s impact on Los Angeles and the Lakers: Lisa Leslie narrates a feature on how Bryant’s passing changed the city of Los Angeles and motivated the Lakers to a championship in 2020.
- More than teammates: Former Lakers teammate Pau Gasol, who in the last year has tried to provide support to the Bryant family, in an emotional interview with Ramona Shelburne.
- Pushing for Others: The passion and leadership shown by Bryant in fighting for women athletes, with Sue Bird, Geno Auriema, Sabrina Ionescu and Chiney Ogwumike among those interviewed.
- Jerry West: The NBA and Lakers great who brought Bryant to Los Angeles speaks with Lisa Salters.
- Snoop Dogg: A musical tribute to Bryant by rapper Snoop Dogg.
- Stephen A. Smith Essay: A unique take on Bryant and his legacy from Stephen A. Smith.
After its initial airing, SportsCenter presents Kobe – The Legend, The Legacy will re-air multiple times on ESPN networks.
ESPN’s daily NBA program The Jump will have a special two-hour episode remembering Bryant on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m.
On Sunday leading into the SportsCenter special, ESPN will air a 90-minute edition of Detail at 5 p.m. that ties together three special “Honoring Kobe” episodes of the ESPN+ program hosted by Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol and Diana Taurasi breaking down classic games from Bryant’s NBA career. ESPN will then re-air Bryant’s last game from April 13, 2016, when the Lakers hosted the Utah Jazz at 6:30 p.m.
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