kobe bryant-detail-espn+

When ESPN’s new ESPN+ platform debuts Thursday, it will include an NBA analysis show called Detail that is written, produced, and hosted by Kobe Bryant. The show’s first episode will feature Kobe breaking down Game 6 of the 2009 Western Conference Finals (in which he put up 35-6-10), while subsequent releases will have him analyzing NBA playoff games shortly after they happen.

Though Detail will be different from traditional NBA studio shows in terms of format and production, at its core, its mission will be similar to that of NBA Countdown, Inside the NBA, and all others in the genre: to comment on basketball.

It was likely with that in mind that a reporter asked Bryant on an ESPN conference call Wednesday whether he would be interested in a more traditional analyst position. Kobe, however, made clear he views Detail as its own beast.

Q. Where is your level of interest of one day being a traditional analyst, like Shaq or Barkley?

BRYANT: Zero.

Q. Why so?

BRYANT: Because I love what I’m doing now. I love coming to the office writing, editing, creating. Building a studio is no small task. It’s all encompassing. I just don’t have the time to sit at a studio and do that.

If that was my passion, to be able to sit at a studio desk, do that day in, day out, I would certainly do it. That’s not my passion. My passion is writing, creating, putting beautiful stories together, weaving them in the form of a narrative.

That’s what you’ll see in Detail. It’s hard to explain until you see it. Yes, it’s a basketball analysis show, but the way it’s woven together, you’ll actually see the natural narratives that are there in a playoff series. We just kind of bring those to the light in terms of how it actually affects the outcome of plays and a series.

Vague talk of “narratives” aside, Kobe was pretty unequivocal. He won’t be sitting with Shaq, Kenny and Charles any time soon.

Given what we know about Kobe, this isn’t surprising. Since his retirement from the NBA two years ago, he has spoken repeatedly about a desire to create content, which was on display with the Dear Basketball short that won him an Oscar earlier this year. It makes sense, therefore, that he would sign on to a show that he has designed specifically around his interests and talents, as opposed to slotting into a show developed and produced by someone else.

On the ESPN conference call, Bryant elaborated on what exactly Detail will be about. He said there will be no interviews and no desk, only him breaking down highlights, in the spirit of a film room.

Q. What is your goal in terms of what you’re doing in media? You’ve taken a different route than others.

BRYANT: For Detail in particular, I felt like it’s important for the next generation to learn how to watch film, how to study the game. I felt like if this show was around when I was 10 years old, 11 years old, I would have gained so much insight, so much value from it, that by the time I’m 22, 25, my knowledge of the game would be at a much, much higher level than my predecessors.

[…]

That’s the idea of the show, is to show the next generation, players that are currently playing, as well as players that aspire to be there one day, my process of watching film at its smallest detail, and hopefully they can pull something from that. That’s the goal.

We won’t have to wait long to find out more about Detail. The show will premiere Thursday, then air new episodes periodically throughout the NBA playoffs.

[ESPN]

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.