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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Kobe Bryant to star in documentary

By Ramona Shelburne
ESPN.com

A documentary on the life and career of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant will air this fall on Showtime.

Kobe Bryant
Coming soon to a TV near you: A documentary featuring the life and career of Kobe Bryant.

In the past, Bryant has resisted projects that demand an all-access look into his life, choosing to keep the methods behind his success mysterious. But with his career threatened by an Achilles injury last spring, and the knowledge that his time in the NBA is coming to an end within a few years, he changed his mind.

The feature-length documentary is executive produced by Bryant and director Gotham Chopra, whose work also includes an upcoming ESPN 30 for 30 film "The Little Master." 

"As a lifelong Boston Celtics fan, never did I imagine I would collaborate with Laker great Kobe Bryant," Chopra said in a statement. "Kobe's quest for greatness transcends rivalries and I'm excited by his and Showtime's willingness to go down this rabbit hole together. I'm confident audiences will be intrigued by what comes out the other side."

Bryant has granted the production access to his daily life and private training sessions, which will intensify next week after he returns from an anniversary trip to Europe. He has also allowed the crew to follow him to business meetings as he prepares for life after basketball.

In an exclusive interview last month with ESPN.com's Darren Rovell, Bryant revealed that he has formed a company called Kobe Inc., and is building a team around him to start new businesses and evaluate investing in others. Bryant's first investment was with upstart sports drink Bodyarmor.

"I have always had ideas and always had a vision of where I wanted to go, going back to 2000, but they are just ideas," Bryant said. "Now, once the Achilles injury took place, I'm sitting at home for months not moving, a couple things set in. One is that there is only so many 'Modern Family' episodes a person can watch. And then two, what do I do now?"