Bryant’s final season with the Lakers was being filmed for a possible documentary. The popular and well-loved Bryant allowed cameras to follow him at the end of his 20-year career during the 2015-16 season. The film crew had access to him in the locker room, in the training room, at home, and while he was on the road.
“They had unprecedented and, by far, greater access than anyone else ever,” John Black, who led the Lakers’ public relations department for 27 years, tells ESPN. “We certainly allowed them to do everything we could within what the league would allow, and sometimes, with a wink and look-the-other-way, allowed them even more.”
Kobe Bryant's final season was captured by an all-access camera crew, sources told @Baxter.
The original plan was for a potential documentary to be released years from now, but in the wake of his death what will happen to the footage remains unclear. https://t.co/AUdVBGhylo
— ESPN (@espn) April 24, 2020
While former Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. was watching The Last Dance, he started to reminisce about Bryant’s last season and the film crew he had following him around. “It was like, ‘All right, we got to really watch what we’re saying, watch what we’re talking about because you have no idea who’s watching or editing this,'” Nance said. “That’s something we all kind of talked about as a team is like, ‘Hey, you never know where this is going. So let’s just keep it mellow around the cameras.’
“But then the longer the year went on, you just forget about them and just kind of stopped caring.”
Bryant was one of nine former players, coaches, and contributors elected to this year’s Hall of Fame. The Class of 2020 will be enshrined in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020.