Diversion Podcasts and iHeartRadio have launched the I AM KOBE podcast, hosted by Philadelphia journalist and author Mike Sielski.

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The 12-episode series reveals intimate, never-before-heard tapes of Kobe Bryant as a teenager, exploring his thoughts, his dreams, and his goals. Some tapes are from when Kobe was a senior in high school, some are from the weeks after he graduated high school and some are from his first season with the Lakers.

I AM KOBE tells the story of The Black Mamba’s early years and blends lost audio tapes with interviews from those close to Kobe including coaches, friends, and family.


With the goal of writing a book together, teenage Kobe sat with a family friend and confidant Jeremy Treatman between 1995-1996 to record interviews about his life at the time. The tapes would eventually be lost, only to be found in a crawl space nearly 30 years later. Treatman, who is a featured insider on the podcast, connected with Sielski to help bring these tapes to life in I AM KOBE, and through hearing them, listeners will find a rare, first-hand view of how the seeds of greatness were sown.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to present this rare inside look into Kobe Bryant’s formative years and tell his story through these never-before-heard tapes,” Sielski says. “I AM KOBE gives fans the chance to hear Kobe’s voice in a way they never have before, as we explore the making of an icon.”

“I AM KOBE is a truly compelling portrait of one of our most dynamic and fascinating sports icons,” says Diversion CEO Scott Waxman. “Diversion is incredibly excited to be collaborating with iHeartMedia, the No. 1 podcast network, to bring this show to the world.”

“We are thrilled to team up with Diversion again to bring listeners this untold story of Kobe Bryant’s formative years,” said Will Pearson, Chief Operating Officer, iHeartPodcast Network. “To have access to this rare audio from Kobe himself makes this podcast unlike anything else out there, and we are excited to share ‘I AM KOBE’ with millions of fans across the iHeartPodcast Network.”

You can hear episode 1 here.