Last we heard from Kobe Bryant, he was winning an Academy Award for best animated short. Now, the former NBA MVP is back in the #content game, with a basketball analysis show called Detail that will debut next week on ESPN’s new ESPN+ platform.
According to an ESPN release, the first episode of Detail will feature Kobe breaking down Game 6 of the 2009 Western Conference Finals, in which he tallied 35 points, 10 assists and six rebounds to eliminate the Nuggets. Subsequent episodes will have him analyze games during the 2018 Playoffs.
The show will be written and produced by Bryant and the company he founded, Granity Studios, which also produced the Oscar-winning Dear Basketball.
As an all-time great player and a compelling presence in front of a camera, Kobe could probably have any basketball analyst job he wants, but he has made clear since his retirement that he wants to create content, not merely star in it. So although it’s unusual for a star to produce his own analysis show instead of just appearing on an existing one, it’s not so surprising that Kobe is the guy to do it.
You do have to wonder, however, how Kobe’s show wound up on ESPN+ instead of a linear network. From the outside, it’s hard to know whether ESPN views Detail as extraneous programming to toss on its OTT service, or if it sees the show as the type of high-appeal content that can draw subscribers to the platform. Whereas most networks would kill to have Kobe on their airwaves, ESPN is content to put him somewhere most fans won’t be able to access. That could be either a compliment or insult to Detail, depending how you want to look at it.
The first episode of Detail will be available on ESPN+ on April 12, the day the platform debuts, and the second will debut April 15, following an NBA playoff game. The show’s schedule has not been announced beyond that, but ESPN says the episodes will air more and more often as the postseason progresses, with up to seven during the NBA Finals.
Though full episodes of Detail will be available only on ESPN+, ESPN says segments will appear on linear shows such as Get Up!, SportsCenter, The Jump and NBA Countdown.