ESPN is teaming up with former Lakers’ great Kobe Bryant to present Canvas – a special new content initiative, which will debut on Christmas, Sunday, Dec. 25, during the 2 p.m. ET edition of NBA Countdown on ABC, which precedes the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals rematch at 2:30 p.m.
Bryant, the five-time NBA Champion and legendary Los Angeles Laker, will serve as the creator, director and writer for six short video presentations, each focused on an NBA on-court topic, through the eyes of Bryant. The first Canvas piece, “Guarding The Greats,” will focus on how to approach guarding elite NBA players.
Canvas: “Guarding The Greats” debuts on Christmas and the NBA Countdown team –Michelle Beadle, Earvin “Magic Johnson,” Jalen Rose and Chauncey Billups – will provide analysis on the topic during the show. Bryant will also voice a Spanish-language version of the piece, which will air on ESPN Deportes during the network’s Christmas NBA coverage at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. There will be five additional Canvas pieces, which will air throughout the remainder of the 2016-17 NBA season, including those tied to marquee regular-season matchups on ESPN and ABC, the NBA Playoffs and the NBA Finals.
Kevin Wildes, ESPN vice president, original content said: “Kobe is one of the most important athletes of the past 20 years, known for his brilliant basketball mind equally as much as his spellbinding athleticism. These videos, which are more like short films, mirror the unique approach Kobe took to the game of basketball. We’re eager for the fans to see his thought process come to life in video form.”