The accolades keep pouring for Kobe Bryant. The retired Lakers great is now up for an Oscar after being nominated this week for the animated short film based on his “Dear Basketball’’ retirement letter, which was originally published in The Players’ Tribune.
The animated short, directed by Glen Keane, features illustrations showing Bryant throughout his career, and it includes music by Oscar-winning composer John Williams.
“What?? This is beyond the realm of imagination,’’ Bryant wrote on his Twitter page in response to the nomination. “It means so much that the (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) deemed #DearBasketball worth of contention. Thanks to the genius of (Keane) & John Williams for taking my poem to this level. It’s an honor to be on this team.’’
Bryant played his entire 20-season career with the Lakers, helping them win five NBA championships, and was chosen as the NBA Finals MVP for both of the two most recent championships.
The 6-foot-6-inch Bryant scored 33,643 points, the third most in league history, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).
Bryant was the league’s MVP in the 2007-2008 season, received All-NBA honors 15 times, including 11 first-team selections, and was chosen to play in the league’s All-Star Game 18 times. He retired after the 2015-16 season.