Kobe Bryant: in a race for an Oscar

"Dear Basketball", based on a poem written by the former Lakers star, will compete in the best-animated short category

Kobe Bryant: in a race for an Oscar

Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, has been nominated along with Glen Keane in the category for Best Animated Short at the Academy Awards for Arts and Cinematographic Sciences.

 The short, called "Dear Basketball", is based on a poem that the player composed for The Players Tribune when he retired in 2016.

Keane, who has worked on several Disney projects as an illustrator of "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin," was the one who directed the 6-minute short. Bryant was a producer and narrator of the piece that tells the player's journey since he was six years old until the time of his retirement.

The music for the short is by John Williams, who is responsible for the soundtrack of Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

Where does the short film come from?

"And we both know, no matter what I do next, I'll always be that kid with the socks rolled up, garbage bin in the corner, :05 seconds on the clock, ball in my hands. 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ".

Those are the last words of Bryant's narrative, which were reproduced at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the Lakers play at home, the day he said goodbye to his team.

The numbers 8 and 24, which belonged to Bryant during the 20 years he was on the team, were withdrawn in his honor. In fact, not only he won 5 championships, Bryant was also twice the MVP in the NBA playoffs and 2 times the highest scorer of the tournament. He called 18 times to the All-Star Game and he was the third highest scorer of the NBA history with 32293 points.

In the poem, that inspires the nominated short, the player expresses the reason for his retirement is only due to the fact that his body can no longer bear the burden of playing at a high level.

"My body knows it's time to say goodbye," Bryant wrote at the time. However, he notes that his heart "can handle the pounding" and his mind "the grind". He knows he cannot love basketball "obsessively for a long time". From all those sensations, which a legend such as Kobe experiences toward the end of his sporting career, the short film is inspired.

Along with the former basketball player, 4 other shorts in the category were also nominated:

  • "Garden party", by Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon, tells the adventures of some amphibians in an abandoned villa.
  • "Lou", by Dave Mullins and Dana Murray, tells the story of a living object that lives in a box of lost and found objects and protects children from a bully.
  • “Negative Space” by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, also based on a poem, is about a child’s relationship with his father through packing a suitcase.
  • "Revolting Rhymes", by Jakob Schuh and Jan Lanchauer, based on a book by Roald Dahl.

The Oscar awards will be presented on Sunday, March 4, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Jimmy Kimmel, the host of 2017, will repeat his role in the 90th installment of the most important awards in the American film industry.

 

LatinAmerican Post | Iván Parada Hernández
Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza

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