Kobe Bryant‘s Lakers have suffered from a poor start to the NBA season, losing five of their first eight games. Outside of the Staples Center, however, there is a group that is struggling even more. Kobe is the centerpiece of Mission, a new web series on TakePart TV that seeks to end homelessness in downtown LA.
Mission takes place on Skid Row, a four-mile stretch of road near the Lakers’ home arena where thousands of homeless people sleep every night. Kobe’s role into the series involves raising awareness about the issue of homelessness and striving to end it with the help of the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. Other episodes of the five part series include featurettes about residents of Skid Row who explain how the fell into their current situations and showcase their hidden talents.
Mission is one of the first series to debut on TakePart TV, a YouTube Original Channel dedicated to social justice and sociopolitical change. It features content from Henry Rollins of Black Flag and Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy, but I don’t think anyone would argue with the assertion that Bryant, who has millions of fans around the globe, brings the largest celebrity presence to the channel. Hopefully his clout is enough to raise awareness for such a pervasive issue.
Kobe previously starred in a web series called Dream Makers, where he provided life lessons for a group of young Filipino ballers. Mission is similarly full of virtue, and with some luck it will be like its star’s fadeaway jump shot: tactical, strong, and extremely effective.