On Monday, Magic Johnson confirmed that a Kobe Bryant documentary was definitely in the making. Like Michael Jordan, Bryant also had a film crew accompany him during his final year with the Los Angeles Lakers and was in the process of editing the film prior to his untimely death on January 26. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash. After The Last Dance was released worldwide on April 19, fans asked about a documentary about the late Lakers legend.
During an interview with The Athletic, former Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak revealed that Bryant's final years in the league could never ensure a fairytale ending. While many Kobe Bryant accomplishments piled on over the years, his last two years with the Lakers were full of injuries, which in turn affected his final season. Though Bryant scored 60 points during his final game, the Lakers had only 17 games in the season and were eliminated from the playoffs.
Kupchak referred to the 2015-16 season as a 'tough year', as it is not the script anyone would like to write. According to Kupchak, the script includes a championship and not playing with young kids, winning 17 games, being injured constantly and not practicing. The then-Lakers centre Robert Sacre also commented on the topic, stating that the team management and ownership must have been in a 'bind'.
Sacre added that he would not like to be in their situation, where they had to ensure a proper farewell to their 'superstar' while also developing their young players. Giving Bryant a proper send-off and preparing the team for their future was nearly impossible, added Sacre.
Though Jordan retired with the Washington Wizards, he filmed his last year with the Chicago bulls, which was his second three-peat. While Jordan's final years included championships, Bryant played only six games during the 2013-14 season after rupturing his Achilles. While his 2014-15 season was better, he played only 35 games as a result of multiple injuries.
While Bryant played 66 games during his final campaign, he averaged only 17.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting a career-low of 35.8% from the field. Still, his final game is considered a highlight as he dropped 60 points against the Utah Jazz. The Jazz had a ten-point lead with 2:35 left on the clock when Bryant went on a final 13-0 run to lead to secure the win.