Over the weekend, Los Angeles and the entire world was shaken by the sudden and tragic news that NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter Gianna Bryant had died along with seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Since then, family, friends and fans across the globe have been mourning the passing of the Los Angeles Lakers player who become a force to be reckoned with on the court, earning comparisons to the great Michael Jordan. And now Kobe Bryant’s own production company is honoring him by making their Oscar-winning animated short Dear Basketball available to watch online for free.
Watch the Kobe Bryant Short Film Dear Basketball
This is the animated short that won Kobe Bryant and his Granity Studio an Oscar for Best Animated Short film back in 2018. Directed and animated by Glen Keane, the film also features a score by the legendary John Williams.
Narrated by Bryant himself, the short film is based on a poem written by the NBA player that he wrote back in November 2015 when he announced his retirement from the game. Here’s the poem in its entirety:
From the moment
I started rolling my dad’s tube socks
And shooting imaginary
In the Great Western Forum
I knew one thing was real:
I fell in love with you.
A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & soul.
As a six-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Running out of one.
And so I ran.
I ran up and down every court
After every loose ball for you.
You asked for my hustle
I gave you my heart
Because it came with so much more.
I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.
You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream
And I’ll always love you for it.
But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.
And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the rolled up socks
Garbage can in the corner
:05 seconds on the clock
Ball in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1
Love you always,
The passing of Kobe Bryant is the first time in a long time that the NBA has dealt with the sudden, tragic death of such a high profile player. Since Bryant only just retired a few years ago, his years with the LA Lakers are still fresh in fans minds. Kids grew up watching him dominate the court, and people are finding it hard to accept. It’s truly a shame that such an inspirational figure has left us all so soon.
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