The Christmas slate of games for the NBA is always a sure-fire draw for NBA fans around the world. 10 NBA teams faced off in the holiday matchup, including none other than the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers 111-102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers was a great watch, but it also marked the franchise’s first Christmas game without Kobe Bryant on the roster in quite some time.
In retirement, Bryant has found luxury in his company, Kobe Inc., along with flexibility in spending time with his family. Although he and his wife Vanessa welcomed their third baby girl recently, Bryant was still involved in the spotlight on Christmas.
Bryant partnered up with ESPN to create the ‘Canvas’ documentary, which is a six-part series that will dive into varying topics regarding the NBA. The first piece was featured on Christmas day, in lieu of the NBA Finals rematch between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The first episode was titled “Guarding The Greats” and dived into the topic of guarding LeBron James. For that specific game, Bryant also brought up the fact that Kevin Durant was pitted against James.
When looking back at Bryant’s career, he was known for his attention to detail, his focus, and his overbearing outlook on the game of basketball. His preparation was known to go to the next level, whether it was health wise or in respect to the opponent he was facing.
Bryant not only narrates the video, but is also credited as a director and writer for the series. During the six-minute clip, the 18-time All-Star talks about going the extra mile to gain an upper hand on the elite player you are guarding, or else you will end up failing.
During the first episode, NBA fans can witness how the legend’s impact is heavily involved with the video, as Bryant was always about having an edge over his opponent. When talking about guarding James, the five-time champion describes what it takes to contain a NBA all-time great and how committed you must be.
While watching the video, notice how Bryant’s competitive edge still resides with him, as talking about playing basketball lights up his voice just like a kid on Christmas day.