Once I made that commitment and said that I want to be one of the greatest ever, then the game became everything for me.
Kobe Bryant’s Muse premiered this weekend on Showtime — a near 90 minute documentary of Kobe’s journey from the son of an NBA player growing up in Italy to the 5-time champion we know today. Everything is covered in fascinating first-person account by Kobe himself, who speaks to us confessional style with 100% candor on the highs and lows of his professional career and personal life.
The doc resonated with me because of how intensely humanizing it was, especially for a subject like Bryant who was more guarded earlier in his career, which contributed to how polarizing he was widely viewed. Kobe’s outlook is one I think we can channel into our own lives. His relentless willpower has always been inspiring on the court, but now we see it in a new light through his own words combined with the authentic behind the scenes footage of his recovery from the 2013 achilles tear.
From a technical standpoint, this footage and how it was structured into the documentary was simply superb. I felt the gravity of the recovery and how taxing it was on Bryant, which was illustrated in a ‘less is more’ manner with very minimal speaking in the various long and dramatic scenes. The 8-month long recovery process is interspersed between chapters that chronologically expound on each phase of his life.
Probably the most emotional aspect of the doc was halfway through when Kobe reflected on his darkest moment stemming from the sexual assault charge that nearly crumbled his family and career. The buildup to it was the starkly contrasted joy that Kobe expressed about first meeting his wife Vanessa (the footage here is crazy) and the birth of his first daughter Natalia. This transitioned into the revelation of a miscarriage during the strenuous times of the charge, which carried heavy sorrow and regret by Bryant that was tough to watch. Again, it was moments like these throughout Kobe Bryant’s Muse that humanized Bryant and told his story from a brand new lens.
As I conclude, the gripping storytelling throughout was also more current than you may have expected. The documentary ends with some unfiltered, chilling, and cutting-edge footage of Kobe learning of his torn rotator cuff diagnosis that ended this current season just a few weeks ago. Even though it was nearly 90 minutes long, Kobe Bryant’s Muse left me wanting more.
Of the many quotables I could include here, I felt compelled to transcribe this one below: Kobe embodying the possibility of living your dreams because you’re already living it in your mind.
“When you make a choice and say, come hell or high water, I’m going to be this. Then you should not be surprised when you are that. It should not be something that’s… that feels intoxicating or out of character because you had seen this moment for so long, you had played it in your mind for so long that when that moment comes.. it’s like of course it’s here because it’s been here the whole time. It’s been up here the whole time.”
– Kobe Bryant