I Am Kobe

2022 Webby award winner and People's Voice winner for best sports podcast! How did Kobe Bryant craft the passion, the determination, and the strength to become a legend? This remarkable series reveals intimate, never-before-heard tapes of Kobe as a teenager, exploring his thoughts, his dreams, and his goals. Philadelphia journalist Mike Sielski tells the story of Kobe Bryant’s early years, weaving together these tapes and speaking with Kobe's high school coaches, his friends, his family, and the figures who knew him in his youth, to paint an enthralling documentary portrait of the making of an icon. Before he was an outsized global basketball celebrity for the Los Angeles Lakers, a 5-time NBA champion, an 18-time All-Star, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, a children’s-book author, a husband, a father, and sometimes a lightning rod for controversy, Kobe Bryant was a kid from Philadelphia. Cover photo © Eileen Blass – USA TODAY NETWORK

00:28:25 2022-01-25
At the second anniversary of Kobe Bryant's death, we explore how the change in Kobe late in his career might have come about and what this “new Kobe” was like. We hear from Carmelo Anthony, future Hall of Famer, 9th-leading scorer in NBA history. And ...
00:43:35 2022-01-18
Let's drill down on the physical and mental attributes that made Kobe Bryant a great basketball player--the granular stuff that basketball junkies love. We examine each stage of Kobe's life and career through the eyes of someone who knew Kobe well at each...
00:40:33 2022-01-11
“Kobe Bryant dead? That can’t be." Kobe Bryant’s death affected those people who knew him when he was a kid differently than it affected anyone else. It's not that Kobe’s Lakers teammates or his friends from the NBA weren’t profoundly saddened b...
00:46:59 2022-01-04
2001 was the year that Jeremy Treatman’s relationship with Kobe Bryant changed, because Kobe’s relationship with his family changed. 2001 was the year that Kobe married his wife, Vanessa, which led to a falling out between him and his parents, Joe and...
00:45:07 2021-12-28
Kobe Bryant on April 29, 1996, at Lower Merion High School, in a packed gymnasium, made it official: He wasn’t going to Duke. He wasn’t going to La Salle. He wasn’t going to North Carolina or Arizona or Michigan. He wasn’t going to college at all....
00:52:01 2021-12-21
The most dramatic Kobe Bryant story of his teenage years is the 1995-1996 season of the Lower Merion Aces. It doesn’t have to do with the NBA or Jerry Stackhouse or Kobe’s appreciation for his time in Italy or any of those things. It's about the commu...
00:41:47 2021-12-14
In 1995 it was common for pro and college players to work out, scrimmage, and play pickup games together during the NBA offseason. Philadelphia 76ers General Manager John Lucas was so impressed with local high school basketball phenom Kobe Bryant that he ...
00:37:11 2021-12-07
When Kobe Bryant was making his rise through the high school basketball ranks, it would have been a miracle for Philadelphia's La Salle University to win an NCAA championship. It didn’t take long for people around La Salle to start thinking that maybe K...
00:39:59 2021-11-30
High school basketball coach Gregg Downer created a staff of assistants for the purpose of coaching Kobe Bryant. Downer knew what he had in Kobe, and he knew what kind of attention Kobe would draw from opponents, from the media, from everywhere. So he did...
00:34:51 2021-11-23
Kobe Bryant wasn’t quite flashing The Mamba Mentality yet. He was 13 years old and he was jumping into the middle of the school year at Bala Cynwyd Middle School. Then after a few more months, boom, he was heading to Lower Merion, a public high school i...
00:52:44 2021-11-16
If you want to get to the heart of the Kobe Bryant story, you have to start with the Joe Bryant story, and that means you have to start with Philadelphia. One of the pieces of Kobe’s story that tends to get glossed over is that his dad also played in th...
00:28:14 2021-11-16
Kobe Bryant: basketball superstar for the Los Angeles Lakers, five-time NBA champion, 18-time All-Star, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, children’s-book author, husband, father, sometimes a lightning rod for controversy and conflict, always a competitor...
00:01:36 2021-11-03
What if we could go back in time, before he became the icon, and ask him: how did you become Kobe Bryant? “I Am Kobe” tells the story of Kobe Bryant’s early life through his coaches, his family, his friends. With never-before-heard intimate tapes of...