RIETI – The documentary “Kobe, an Italian story” which reconstructs the 7 years lived in our country – from 1984 to 1991, from 6 to 13 years, by the late Los Angeles Lakers star, has been broadcast on Amazon Prime Video a few days ago. , Kobe Bryant, between Rieti, Reggio Calabria, Pistoia and Reggio Emilia – the important role played in the formation of his character and personality, as he himself explains in a series of repertoire interviews in which he speaks Italian with great language properties .
The interviews. The illustrious NBA opponents Marco Belinelli and Danilo Gallinari pay tribute to Kobe as a player, as well as Ettore Messina who was Bryant’s assistant coach at the Lakers in 2011/12 and then faced him in the same role in San Antonio from 2014 to 2016, when Joe’s son Bryant retired at 36. But to better outline the character of Kobe are above all those who knew the boy, was in contact with him and saw him grow up in the various cities in which he passed, each of which is dedicated ample space in the 90 minutes of the film expertly written by Giovanni Filippetto and well directed by Jesus Garcés Lambert. As for Rieti, Kobe is told by the journalist of “Il Messaggero” Luigi Ricci, the RAI journalist Gemma Giovannelli, the president of the time of the Amg Sebastiani Otello Rinaldi, who hired his father, the then minibasket coach Claudio Di Fazi and the teacher Lina of the elementary school of Lisciano attended by little Kobe.
The character. Looking at the documentary one understands what was already intuited and that explains why, in the numerous times in which Kobe has returned to Italy, he has not come to Rieti, but he has shown that he remembers well, as evidenced by the pleasure with which he greets his ex teacher. Too young from 6 to 8 years old to impress his first friends in his memory, especially schoolmates who were soon abandoned, also because Kobe in the second year in Rieti moved to Guglielmo Marconi. There are already some more vivid memories at 9 with the former schoolmate who later became a doctor and, finally, from 10 to 13 years, between Pistoia and Reggio Emilia, the most profound, lasting knowledge, maintained even when he became a star. , as well as the most moving.
The Rieti period. However, thanks to the Rieti interviews, the strong commitment to helping Kobe and his family to integrate into a new reality emerges, which then helped to develop the strong Italian roots of which he was proud, as he himself explains by saying “I really don’t know who surrounds me in USA – imprisoned by an ivory tower – while in Italy I am simply Kobe and I still feel the pleasure of personal relationships like having an ice cream with friends, but I struggle to make my daughters understand “one of whom, Gianna, perished with father in the helicopter crash of January 26, 2020.
A meticulous reconstruction of “Kobe, an Italian story” starting with the first training pitches in Rieti with dad Joe, the solitary ones at the Stimmatini pitch, up to the first real minibasketball game when after 10 minutes Di Fazi was forced to let him out “Because children and parents were getting angry. As well as Kobe when he passed in front of our bench without saying goodbye ”. First sign of the strong character of a child who was already saying “One day I will play in the NBA”. Nobody believed it except of course Kobe.