When Kobe Bryant made a decision to retire from the sport of basketball following the 2015-16 season, the Lakers legend said he wanted to make "these next 20 years... better than the previous 20". He was originally selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft, but due to his desire to play for the Lakers, Bryant, just 17 years old at the time, demanded a trade and saw his wish granted.
After Kobe Bryant retired from the NBA following a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, many assumed he would not be able to stay away from basketball.
The film was played during the opening of Bryant's jersey retirement ceremony at Staples Center back on December 18.More news: Minecraft hits 74 million monthly active players
Now, his short film titled "Dear Basketball" has been nominated for an Academy Award.
When Tim Greiving interviewed Bryant for The Times, the player-turned-film-producer recalled why he first phoned Williams before the 2008 National Basketball Association season.
Keane's illustrations follow the arc of Bryant's letter - from little Kobe tossing rolled-up tube socks to his departure as a player at age 37. The film was scored by five-time Oscar winning composer John Williams. It will be competing against "Garden Party", "Negative Space", "Lou", and "Revolting Rhymes" for the 2018 Oscar.More news: Musk may get no salary unless Tesla hits milestones
The Academy Awards will air on March 4.
Matt Citak is a producer for CBS Local Sports and a proud Vanderbilt alum.More news: Dr. Sanjay Gupta says Trump has heart disease, contradicting White House physician