In honor of Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game, Nike unveiled its new short film, “The Conductor,” which illustrates the Los Angeles Lakers legend’s polarizing effect among players, coaches, and fans alike.
Noting that Bryant is a player “whom many have loved, and others have loved to hate,” the video continues the “love-hate” them surrounding the Black Mamba heading into “Mamba Day,” Nike said in a statement.
Directed by Mark Romanek, the video features appearances from Hall-of-Fame coach Phil Jackson, Los Angeles native Paul Pierce, Detroit Pistons icon Rasheed Wallace, Benny the Bull, and various basketball fans.
“This tribute illustrates how hate has manifested into respect and admiration for Bryant,” Nike said. “It began with Nike athletes across multiple sports wearing black and gold shoes as a symbolic tribute to Bryant’s golden career, fading into black.”
Bryant’s 20-year NBA career – all of which was spent with the Lakers – ends today as he plays his final game against the Utah Jazz.