Hailed one of the greatest players in the history of basketball, Kobe Bryant is one of the few athletes who transcended the realm of sport to inhabit our collective consciousness as a legend: a larger-than-life athlete and human being. His achievements are unquestionable. Yet there was also a darkness, a ruthlessness that characterised his life on and off the court; Kobe himself acknowledged it by choosing the nickname ‘Black Mamba’. He was a man who operated at extremes – like all the greats.
Kobe’s tragic death in January 2020 saw fans mourning around the globe. His memory is forever carved in the hearts of millions. What few people know is that before the Lakers, even before the Philadelphia high school where Kobe was scouted, there was Italy.
Italy was Kobe Bryant’s second home. It is where he went to school, learned to play basketball and started chasing his NBA dream. But these were unusual times for a black child in a mostly white country, dominated by corruption, terrorism and the mafia. Kobe – alone in a strange, new land – sought refuge in basketball, just as Italy turned to sports to emerge from its darkness.
Kobe: Made in Italy relives Kobe’s childhood in Italy, where a lonely six-year-old boy matured into a teenager on the verge of NBA stardome. Guided by his Italian coaches and mentors, and with the use of exclusive photos and archive footage, the film reveals the indelible impact 1980s Italy had on Kobe the player and Kobe the man.
“My story began here…Would you have ever thought that one of the NBA’s best players could have grown up in Italy? It means that every dream is possible.” – Kobe Bryant