Before he even announced his retirement last November, Kobe Bryant vowed to make storytelling a big part of his future.
Now, the five-time NBA champion is putting those plans into action. On Thursday, Bryant and Sports Illustrated announced partnership plans for a multi-platform video project based around the "Dear Basketball" poem he wrote for The Players' Tribune, which the Black Mamba used to declare his retirement last fall.
Dear Basketball will be an animated short film narrated by Bryant himself and slated to debut on SI.com this fall. Whether it can possibly be made into a full-length movie on the big screen remains to be seen. In addition to that short, SI Films is promising several mini documentaries with Bryant's involvement as well.
On Thursday, SI.com gave viewers a taste of the Bryant-narrated project, with the future Hall of Famer walking his fans through his journey and the legacy he wanted to leave before ending his glorious 20-year career last month.
Dear Basketball should delve even deeper.
“Dear Basketball is the perfect tribute to something I’ve loved for so long,” Bryant said in a statement, as reported by SI.com. “Working with Sports Illustrated on this special project is an amazing opportunity to hopefully inspire fans all over the world.”
Rich Battista, president of Time Inc. Entertainment and Sports Group and Video, added, “We are proud to collaborate with Kobe to tell the comprehensive story of his first endeavor after retiring from the NBA in a way that only SI can. We are excited for Kobe’s fans and the global community of sport, entertainment and art enthusiasts to experience these productions.”
If Kobe's storytelling is up to par with his 20-year NBA career, watch out world.
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(Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)