Kobe Bryant has managed to stay busy in retirement. No, he hasn’t jumped into the broadcast booth like so many former players, nor has he tried to make the transition to the coaching ranks. Bryant has set out to prove he’s more than just a basketball player or a basketball mind since retirement, diving into his business interests and launching a media company.
Kobe has always prided himself on the fact that he has other interests that extend beyond the basketball court. One of those interests is a fascination with film-making and he combined that with one of his other lifelong hobbies, writing, to create an animated short film called “Dear Basketball’ with the help of Disney animator Glen Keane.
The film was based on a poem Kobe once wrote and will join a field of five other films competing at the Academy Awards on Sunday night for Best Animated Short Film. That honor has not been lost on Kobe, and he took the opportunity recently to discuss the significance of his Oscar nomination and why it’s a big deal for him personally.
Via Kelley L. Carter of The Undefeated:
“I’ve always been told that as basketball players the expectation is that you play. This is all you know. This is all you do. Don’t think about handling finances. Don’t think about going into business. Don’t think that you want to be a writer — that’s cute. I got that a lot. What do you want to do when you retire? ‘Well, I want to be a storyteller.’ That’s cute. This is … a form of validation for people to look and say, ‘OK, he really can do something other than dribble and shoot.’ ”
If Bryant puts the type of effort into film-making and storytelling that he did into his hoops career, then Hollywood should probably watch out.
It’ll be interesting to see what his next film project will be, regardless of Sunday night’s outcome when the winners are announced during the industry’s biggest annual awards show on ABC.
UPDATE: Bryant’s film won and he even slipped a “shut up and dribble” dig into his acceptance speech, which you can watch here.
Have you checked out the DIME podcast?