Kobe Bryant added another accomplishment to his storied career, but one that came off the court and could not have been foreseen when he was leading the Los Angeles Lakers to NBA titles.
Bryant’s “Dear Basketball” was nominated for best animated short film, along with four others in the genre. “I think it’s awesome,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said of the nomination.
Walton added he was “not at all” surprised to learn Bryant was making waves in Hollywood after dominating on the hardwood.
“From what I’ve been told, he works as hard on that stuff as he did as a player. He stays extremely busy doing all that. When he puts his mind to things, he’s obviously pretty good at finishing.
“I’m happy for him but not surprised. It’s awesome. I don’t have that ability to do those type of things.”
Bryant was the screenwriter and executive producer of the animated short, while Glen Keane was the director and John Williams composed the score. The film is based on the poem Bryant wrote to announce his retirement at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Because he served as the executive producer of the film and not producer, Bryant himself would not win the Oscar. Nonetheless, he deemed winning the award would be more meaningful than any of his accolades earned during a 20-year career with the Lakers.
The 90th annual Academy Awards are scheduled for Sunday, March 4.
Complete list of Oscar-nominated animated short films:
“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, director, and Kobe Bryant, writer (Glen Keane Productions)
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon, directors (MOPA)
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, director, and Dana Murray, producer (Pixar Animation Studios)
“Negative Space,” Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, directors (Ikki Films)
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer, directors (Magic Light Pictures)
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