I'll be honest, guys: It's a pretty big day for us here at Ball Don't Lie. After a lot of hemming, hawing and back-room negotiations, we finally get to break the big news:
Kobe Bryant's(notes) doing another documentary.
I know, right? I thought that, with all the cameras and the unprecedented access, Spike had gotten everything you could get in "Kobe Doin' Work." But I overlooked the one thing that wasn't sufficiently explored — the one thing Kobe loves more than anything, more than even the rings.
The fist pump.
Just one problem: The big-shot auteur behind the project, whom we've agreed to keep anonymous until such time as the production is "officially" announced (let's just say that he-or-she made a hit movie this year that rhymes with "Mavatar" — no, that would be too obvious; his-or-her name rhymes with "Mames Mameron." Yeah, Smooth, Devine), wouldn't slip us a snippet. Pfffff. Big shots, dude.
He-or-she did, however, let us sit in on a screening of a rough cut of the doc, and agreed to allow us to transcribe the Mamba's voiceover work. (EDITOR'S NOTE: In the interest of making this reproduction more visually compelling, we've paired the text with still images that, while not exactly the ones you'll eventually see in IMAX, effectively approximate the on-screen action.)
Without further ado, here's BDL's exclusive first look at the film, tentatively titled "Fist Pump: A Love Story."
KOBE: A lot of people tell me, "Man, when you're out there, when you're doing your thing, you make it look easy." And I always say, "I mean, it's a lot of work that goes into it. I didn't just wake up 15 years ago pumping my fist like this."
KOBE: But when something's important to you, you'll put the time in. You'll get to the gym early to warm your elbow up. You'll ball your fist up 300, 400 times before most cats get out of bed.
You'll go back and watch film, see how the greats did it, try to learn when to do it. How to do it.
KOBE: When you need to keep it tight ...
KOBE: ... and when you need to get a little hectic with it, you know? (laughs)
And when you watch the best that ever did it, you notice something; their games changed, evolved over time. They were able to add new wrinkles, and that's something I've always strived for — to always be adding new wrinkles.
KOBE: Now, after all the time in the gym, I'll bust it out right behind the other team, like a sneak attack, or a ninja attack, you know? Or I'll get sledgehammer on it, bright it up real slow and strong ...
KOBE: ... and bring it down real fast and even stronger.
KOBE: Yeah, I actually picked that up from Marcin two summers ago. Always got to keep an eye out for the innovators.
KOBE: (laughs) Man, the first time I went Howard Dean on the floor, cats didn't even know what hit 'em. They were like, "Whoa, Kobe's got it like that now?" And I was like, "Yeah. I got it like that." And they were like, "Whoa," again.
That's why I'm out here, man. Matter of fact, it's the whole reason most of us do what we do. Yeah, there's the money thing, the fame thing, the titles ... but mostly, we're just looking to do the kind of [EXPLETIVE] that'll make you say "Whoa" twice.
KOBE: It really helps to have teammates that get it. Like, Fish, we been together for years. He sees when I'm doing it small, but also double, and he digs that. Makes him smile a little, you know? And that gets me amped up, makes me want to go harder next time down the court. After something happens that's good and also leads to a whistle and a stoppage in play, I mean. Because that's when the wolves come out.
KOBE: Ron ... Ron's kind of tricky, you know? Dude's got enthusiasm for days, and I know people think he's crazy or whatever, but he really wants to be part of a winner. He wants to fist-pump the right way, and as a leader on this team, it's my job to get him with the program and get him pumping the way he needs to be.
KOBE: Sometimes, he goes too hard with it. He takes it too far, and when he does that, he starts opening his hands up and he's not doing what we need him to do. And he knows that. We're working on it, and we'll get there. It might take some time, but we'll get there. With these things, I always do.
(All photos courtesy of Getty Images and the Associated Press. )