Kobe Bryant’s Oscar-Winning Film Dear Basketball Is More Inspiring Today Than Ever

by : Lucy Connolly on : 27 Jan 2020 11:32
kobe bryant dear basketball 1Kobe Inc – Believe Entertainment Group

Fans have been remembering Kobe Bryant’s ‘inspirational’ short film, Dear Basketball, just hours after he died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter Gianna and seven others.

The 2017 animated short film, written and narrated by Bryant, is based on a letter he wrote to The Players’ Tribune in November 2015 announcing his retirement from the game.


Dear Basketball won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film at the 2018 Academy Awards, making Bryant the first NBA player to win an Academy Award.

You can watch the film below:

The film, which was directed and animated by Glen Keane, saw Bryant declare his love for the game, with the player at one point saying: ‘I fell in love with you. A love so deep I gave you my all, from my mind and body to my spirit and soul.’


Upon accepting his Oscar at the 2018 awards ceremony, Bryant said: ‘As basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble – but I’m glad we get to do a little more than that,’ before paying tribute to his wife and children.

At the time, the short was hailed ‘inspirational’, with one critic writing: ‘A beautifully hand-drawn animation and personal poem that is both impassioned and inspiring.’

Kobe BryantPA Images

Now, following Bryant’s tragic death, fans have been praising Dear Basketball once more, with many urging others to give it a watch – regardless of whether they’re basketball fans or not.


While one fan described the film as a ‘moving, beautiful tribute to a life lived for the sport’, urging others to ‘do yourself a favour and watch it’, another said the film ‘just hits different now.’

Actor Mark Hamill, who presented Bryant with the Oscar, described the film as a ‘heartfelt love-letter to the game that made him a legend and a superstar’. He added: ‘It was an honour to present him his much-deserved Oscar.’


Gianna Bryant’s Dream School Honours 13-Year-Old With Her Own Uconn Huskies Jersey

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Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, were among nine people who died yesterday, January 26, when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed near Calabasas, California.

It’s believed Bryant and Gianna were on their way to one of the teenager’s basketball practices when the crash occurred, along with Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his daughter Alyssa Altobelli, and wife Keri Altobelli.


The father and daughter are survived by Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, and their three other daughters, Natalia, Bianca and Capri.

kobe and gianna bryantPA Images

Our thoughts are with the Bryant family and the loved ones of all those who died at this difficult time.

Rest in peace.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Film and TV, Animation, basketball, Death, Film, Kobe Bryant, Sport, Tragedy


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