Kobe Bryant essentially wrapped up his 2017 by seeing the Los Angeles Lakers retire both his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys in an epic ceremony. As 2018 begins, he could add another honor to his burgeoning post-playing career: an Academy Award.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their full list of Oscar nominees for 2018 and among them was Bryant's animated film "Dear Basketball". The film, which was directed by Disney animator Glen Keane and scored by John Williams, is an animated version of Bryant's "Dear Basketball" poem he penned for The Players Tribune in 2015.
In it, Bryant voices his poem as animation conveys Kobe’s love of the game as he leaves it behind.
Shortly after the Academy Award nominees were revealed, Bryant took to Twitter to acknowledge being in the running for an Oscar.
"What?? This is beyond the realm of imagination," Bryant tweeted. "It means so much that the @TheAcademy deemed #DearBasketball worthy of contention. Thanks to the genius of @GlenKeanePrd & John Williams for taking my poem to this level. It's an honor to be on this team. #OscarNoms"
What?? This is beyond the realm of imagination. It means so much that the @TheAcademy deemed #DearBasketball worthy of contention. Thanks to the genius of @GlenKeanePrd & John Williams for taking my poem to this level. It's an honor to be on this team. #OscarNomspic.twitter.com/M2joyk9D1V— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 23, 2018
Keane is a 38-year veteran of Walt Disney Feature Animation and trained under Walt Disney’s 9 Old Men. He created many beloved Disney characters including the Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Aladdin, the Beast, Tarzan and Rapunzel. He left Disney in 2012 to begin Glen Keane Productions.
The animated film was part of the 2017 Tribeca Film festival and will be competing against "Garden Party" (by Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon), "Lou" (by Dave Mullins and Dana Murray), "Negative Space" (by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata) and "Revolting Rhymes" (by Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer) for the 2018 Oscar.
The Academy Awards will be announced March 5 on ABC.