Kobe Bryant Lines Up Tribeca Film Festival Triple Double

Animated short taps NBA star's 2015 farewell declaration

It started as a poem, published by Kobe Bryant on The Players’ Tribune Nov. 29. 2015. And this fall, Dear Basketball, an animated short inspired by that poem, will be a centerpiece attraction on the website of Sports Illustrated, complete with behind-the-scenes making-of insights.

Image courtesy: Kobe Studios

But in-between, the Kobe cartoon, directed by Glen Keane with a score by John Williams, is set for a world premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. From this week’s announcement:

“Dear Basketball is the perfect tribute to something I’ve loved for so long,” said Bryant. “Glen and John are two legends in their industries, so to partner with them on the creative process is a dream come true.”

Keane is a Disney animation vet whose credits include The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas. The poem has been previously set to live-action footage in honor of Bryant’s farewell tour. Bryant played 20 seasons with the Lakers; this coming spring marks the 16th edition of the annual film festival created by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff.