On Sunday, shocking news broke that Kobe Bryant — a renowned former basketball player who had spent 20 seasons playing with the Los Angeles Lakers — had perished in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others also died. Since learning of the tragedy, friends and fans have been honoring Bryant. And on Tuesday, acclaimed sports journalist Bryant Gumbel will also be remembering the athlete when the newest season of his HBO series Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel premieres.
The episode will revisit two longform features about the NBA MVP’s life, according to a press release distributed by HBO. The first, from 2000, looked at Bryant in his fourth season playing for the Lakers. The second, from 2016, focused on the player as he prepared to retire from the NBA. Taken together, the two profiles bookend Bryant's prolific career.
In a teaser from the second profile, after interviewer Andrea Kremer listed some of the ways Bryant had been described by others — including single-minded, relentless, and obsessed — the player laughs, calling it "all true." But he has a good reason for his tendency to push people. “My job is to bring the best out of people,” he says. "And did it work?" Kremer asked. "Well, we won back-to-back championships," Bryant replied.
You can see Gumbel’s deep dive into Bryant’s life and when the 274th edition of Real Sports airs on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on HBO. The show will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand, and partners’ streaming platforms.