Kobe Doin’ Work (2009)

This one may be a bit of a stretch because it is a made for ESPN documentary and was not released theatrically. But screw it, its Spike Lee!

Kobe Doin’ Work has the master craftsman chronicling the LA Lakers game against the San Antonio Spurs on April 13th, 2008. Utilizing 30 cameras, each framing Kobe Bryant’s athleticism in a way only Spike Lee can, the film is a no-holds barred look at what it takes to play the game. Featuring running commentary by Bryant himself recorded mere hours after scoring 61 points against Lee’s beloved Knicks at Madison Square Garden, this documentary really puts you in the driver’s seat. We are given full access to Bryant and the team in huddles and during time outs, a fly-on-the-wall view of Coach Phil Jackson and the team during half-time, and recollections from Kobe on some of the games most critical moments. The 83 minute film gives you the entire game play-by-play and never leaves Kobe’s side. It inter cuts rhytmically with black and white stills of Kobe during the game and features many of Spike Lee’s signature camera angles.

Among the things I admire most about this documentary is Kobe’s respect for players on rival teams. The emphasis on watching sports films and learning and anticipating each player’s moves. The realization of just how much communication and coordination it takes to stay alive. I would hardly call myself a sports fanatic but this film makes me wish I was.

-John

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