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Dear Basketball is a 2017 animated short film (6 minutes) directed by Glen Keane, written and narrated by Kobe Bryant.

Yes, that Kobe Bryant, the all-time basketball great, the 20-year NBA veteran. The origin of the short was a 2015 poem that Bryant wrote at the start of his 20th and last season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant's poem was essentially a love letter to the sport, describing his love for basketball since he was a little boy shooting balled-up socks into trash cans, and his melancholy as he faced his last season as a professional athlete.

And if Kobe Bryant wasn't famous enough, John Williams composed the music.


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Tropes:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Most of the short is in the style of pencil-drawn 2-D animation, but the shot of Kobe's skeleton, as he discusses the injury and aging leading to his retirement, is CGI.
  • Animated Adaptation: Of a poem.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After dedicating his entire life to the game, Kobe is forced to say farewell to the sport due to his age but maintains he'll never let go of his love of basketball.
  • Book Ends: The beginning and end has Kobe making a winning shot with the net rising upwards.
  • Fade to White: The cartoon fades out into white as Kobe walks off the court for the (symbolic) last time.
  • Narrator: Kobe Bryant reads his poem.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: Kobe walking down the tunnel to the locker room.
  • Orbital Shot: Around Kobe as a small boy on his bed, as he discovers the joys of basketball.
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  • Sports Stories: A pretty uncommon animated short version of a sports story.
  • Stock Footage: Stock audio footage consisting of audio clips from Lakers games.
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