Zidane film inspires Spike Lee documentary on Kobe Bryant

AFP American Edition

Aug 14, 2008 20:00 EDT

US director Spike Lee said here Friday a film on France football legend Zinedine Zidane inspired him to do a similar documentary on American basketball star Kobe Bryant.

"Three or four years ago there was a film in Cannes on the great soccer player Zidane," Lee told delegates to an international conference in Singapore called the Global Brand Forum.

"It was about one game when he was playing with Real Madrid. What was amazing in the film was that 20 cameras were on Zidane (during) the whole match. I was amazed by it, I said this is great."

Lee said he decided to do a similar documentary on National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar Bryant, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the documentary, entitled Kobe Bryant 4/13/08, Lee brought in 30 cameras which all focused on Bryant from different angles during a single Lakers game against the San Antonio Spurs on April 13, 2008.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson "allowed us to bring cameras, which he never ever does," said Lee, an award-winning African-American director noted for his films dealing with controversial social and political issues.

"He (Jackson) allowed us to shoot in the locker room for the game, at half-time and after the game. It's just a total look at one of the world's greatest athletes and the preparation that he does," Lee added.

"It has really turned into this amazing documentary of one of the world's greatest basketball players."

Apart from the cameras, a microphone was also put on Bryant.

"He was the second coach out there. He was directing traffic so it was an amazing piece," said Lee.

Asked to compare Bryant with another NBA superstar, Michael Jordan, Lee said: "They are both great players but there's only one Michael Jordan."

He also had high praises for Bryant who he said is "not just an American hero" but is idolised worldwide.

"Kobe is bigger than Yao Ming in China," he said, referring to the towering Chinese national who plays for the Houston Rockets in the NBA.

Source: AFP American Edition