Kobe Bryant’s emotional short film Dear Basketball, was nominated for an Academy Award earlier this week. The recognition not only surprised the sports world, it also caught Bryant off guard.
What?? 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. It’s an honor to be on this team. #OscarNoms pic.twitter.com/M2joyk9D1V
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 23, 2018
The Los Angeles Lakers legend poured his heart out into the go90 original animation, needing just over five minutes to thank the game of basketball for “making him feel so alive.” Many fans would in turn rather thank Bryant for all the memories he provided on the court during his career, including his five NBA titles.
However, the nomination has drawn quite a bit of controversy in the current social climate exposing sexual misconduct, led by the #MeToo movement. Bryant was accused of rape in 2003 and had an out-of-court settlement.
Nonetheless, Dear Basketball is one in a long line of sports-themed films recognized by the Academy. In fact, this very year the movie I, Tonya has been given the nod for a few Oscar nominations, showing that the biggest stories in women’s sports can be turned into Hollywood blockbusters as well. Margot Robbie headlines the nominations for Best Actress, while Allison Janney was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and the movie was also nominated for Film Editing.
While several sports-driven movies have been nominated for the coveted Academy Awards, many of the winners were phenomenal films that stood the test of time.
Films like ESPN’s 2016 Oscar-winning documentary OJ: Made in America come very fresh in the mind. Yet, hit movies like the 1976 classic Rocky, the 1980 Raging Bull, 1981’s track masterpiece Chariots of Fire, the 2005 Best Picture Million Dollar Baby and the 2009 family-friendly The Blind Side have all won Oscars as well.
With all of the incredible and sometimes unbelievable storylines that sports bring us regularly, we should see more films based off of the real life moments that have enthralled us.