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Volume 24 No. 217
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Kobe Bryant's "Dear Basketball" Animated Short Elicits Academy Award Nomination

KOBE BRYANT "is up for an Academy Award" in the animated short category for his collaboration with artist GLEN KEANE and composer JOHN WILLIAMS on "DEAR BASKETBALL," according to Craig Nakano of the L.A. TIMES. The short "won its nomination" for Keane's animation of a letter written by Bryant for The Players' Tribune in '15 when he announced his retirement. Keane's illustrations "follow the arc of Bryant's letter" -- from a young Bryant "tossing rolled-up tube socks to his departure as a player at age 37" (LATIMES.com, 1/23). Bryant himself tweeted, "This is beyond the realm of imagination. It means so much that the @TheAcademy deemed #DearBasketball worthy of contention. Thanks to the genius of @GlenKeanePrd & John Williams for taking my poem to this level." ESPN's feed: "Add it to the resume." beIN Sports' Tancredi Palmeri‏: "Is there anything Black Mamba can’t do?" Comedian Mark Ellis: "Just know that we could live in a world where Kobe Bryant has more Oscars than Stanley Kubrick."