Jimmy Kimmel and the staff of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live‘ are foregoing a planned Friday respite to put on a show featuring Kobe Bryant and other members of the Los Angeles Lakers, aka the NBA’s newly crowned champions.
ABC’s late-night talker had been delivering pre-game specials throughout the NBA Finals, and planned to serve up a repeat this Friday. But when the Lakers bested the Boston Celtics to emerge as champions on Thursday night, show talent booker John Carlin – on hand for the deciding seventh game – chatted up Lakers star Bryant’s rep and invited the team to go ‘Live’ ASAP.
“We have a great relationship with Kobe,” Kimmel explained in an email message to the New York Times.
Upon Kobe’s OK, Kimmel rallied his troops, all of whom had expected to have the day off yet suspected an about-face was possible.
Kimmel for his part wasn’t worried about scraping together a monologue and banter for his very special guests.
“I’m a big Lakers fan so I have a thousand questions already,” he told the Times. “Ron Artest made it easy by thanking his psychiatrist after the game and then going to dinner in his uniform.”