Just about everyone knew what Sunday’s episode of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” was going to feature, and yet very few were emotionally prepared for what came next.
Introduced via 1998 All-Star Game footage as “that little Laker boy,” seeing the face of Kobe Bryant was yet another unforgettable sequence from “The Last Dance.”
The episode began with a simple message, “In loving memory of Kobe Bryant.”
Episode 5 of “The Last Dance” began with Michael Jordan’s final All-Star appearance in a Bulls uniform. At the time, a 19-year-old Bryant was rising to NBA stardom and already drawing Jordan comparisons.
In an interview filmed before Bryant’s tragic death in a helicopter crash earlier this year, Bryant explained how he felt about those comparisons and playing against Jordan.
That admiration went both ways, as Jordan would later cry while discussing his relationship with Bryant at the Lakers legend’s memorial service.
As you can imagine, seeing Bryant just talking basketball as images of his younger years flashed across the screen was overwhelming for NBA fans still getting used to a world without Bryant.
NBA reacts to Kobe Bryant’s appearance on ‘The Last Dance’
Any footage of Kobe is still haunting— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) May 4, 2020
All this footage is surreal— Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) May 4, 2020
This is gonna be tough.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) May 4, 2020
It will never feel real Kobe isn't here with us..— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) May 4, 2020
Just with those little behind-the-scenes locker room interactions right there....i could stop watching #TheLastDance right now and be completely satisfied with the series— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) May 4, 2020
Oh God, this is making cry already.— Jenny Dial Creech (@jennydialcreech) May 4, 2020
"What you get from me is from him. I don't get 5 championships without him guiding me so much." Chills, again— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) May 4, 2020
when that locker room scene was filmed Kobe had only been in the league for 1.5 years and the ENTIRE EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR TEAM was already telling stories about playing against him.— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 4, 2020
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