Spike Lee’s spotlight on Kobe Bryant

Spike Lee has a new documentary that premiered at the 2009 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival yesterday in New York City. Kobe Doin’ Work puts the spotlight on Los Angeles player Kobe Bryant.  The documentary follows Kobe during a game against the San Antonio Spurs last year.

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None of Lee’s beloved Knicks merited game-in-the-life treatment, but Kobe Bryant did. Lee first persuaded Bryant, to whom he gave a DVD of “Zidane.” Then he got approvals from the N.B.A., the Lakers and Coach Phil Jackson.

“Phil gives me a lot of love,” Lee said Monday during an interview in his office at New York University, where he is artistic director of the graduate film program. “He plays it down, but the Knicks are still his team.”

On April 13, 2008, when the Lakers played San Antonio at Staples Center, 30 cameras, 12 of them ABC’s and 18 of them Lee’s, followed Bryant from myriad angles in the next-to-last game of his M.V.P season for “Kobe Doin’ Work.” The 90-minute documentary will be shown Saturday at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Festival and make its television debut on ESPN on May 16.

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