ESPN 700 Interviews

Lisa Salters previews ESPN’s 2020 special featuring Rudy Gobert, her friend Kobe Bryant + more

ESPN’s Lisa Salters joins The Drive to preview the three-hour, prime-time event where ESPN will use the lens of sports to look back at the events of the past year and look ahead to the future with SportsCenter Presents: 2020 – Heroes, History and Hope. Lisa also discusses her experience in the fallout from the death of her late friend, Kobe Bryant.

Airing as three programs of one hour each, 2020 – Heroes, History and Hope will debut at 8 p.m. ET on Christmas Eve, Thursday, Dec. 24, on ESPN, hosted by Jeremy Schaap and Lisa Salters.

“The events of 2020 – COVID-19, the social justice and Black Lives Matter movements, the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and more – have had an unprecedented impact on the world of sports. The changes and challenges have been historic,” said Andy Tennant, executive producer.

“We will be looking back and reliving the unforgettable moments of 2020 in sports, but this is not a conventional year-in-review. This will be a storytelling event, one of the most magical things ESPN produces this year. We are confident viewers will be inspired by what they see when they watch these programs and be reminded of who our heroes have been as they look toward 2021 with hope.”

The three volumes of 2020 – Heroes, History and Hope will have entirely different content but will be presented in a common format.

Each hour will have a “Moment in Time” segment:

  • January 26 – the death of Kobe Bryant.
  • March 11 – the day sports stopped due to the coronavirus.
  • August 26 – when the Milwaukee Bucks led a strike to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

In addition, each hour will have a primary feature on a newsmaker from 2020, including:

  • Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, whose positive coronavirus test on March 11 led to the suspension of the NBA season.
  • Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top series, who became a focus during the protests following the police killing of George Floyd.
  • Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves, who recovered from Covid-19 to play in the delayed MLB season and was named National League MVP.

And 2020 hasn’t been all challenges – storytelling in the programs also will include features on uplifting people and moments:

  • Heroes and inspiring people from 2020, including Maya Moore, Sue Bird, Alex Smith, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and more.
  • Stories of hope that have been overlooked or overshadowed.
  • How sports fans showed their passion while sports were paused:
    • Cardboard cutouts of fans in college and pro venues.
    • The power of connection through a surfboard.
  • Sam White, the six-year-old who went viral with an “ABC’s” of careers rap video, returns with a new video – the ABC’s of 2020.

Multiple ESPN personalities, including Mike Greenberg, Tom Junod, Mina Kimes, Holly Rowe, Adam Schefter, Stephen A. Smith, and Wright Thompson, will contribute essays to the programs on various topics pertaining to 2020, from Patrick Mahomes to Tom Brady to the power of the WNBA

A multiplatform initiative, content from 2020 – Heroes, History and Hope also will appear on SportsCenter, Get Up!, ESPN Radio, the ESPN Daily Podcast, ESPN digital platforms including ESPN.com and on ESPN social media channels. The special will be available to stream on the ESPN App through Dec. 27.


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