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Kobe Bryant, Sports Illustrated to partner on Dear Basketball project

Kobe Bryant and Sports Illustrated have announced their partnership on a multi-platform video project based on Bryant’s “Dear Basketball” poem.
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Kobe Bryant’s production company, Kobe Studios, Sports Illustrated and Believe Entertainment Group have announced their partnership on a multi-platform video project based on Bryant’s “Dear Basketball” poem, which he used to announce his retirement from the NBA this year.

The animated short film Dear Basketball will be narrated by Bryant and will premiere on in the fall. Several exclusive SI Films mini documentaries will also accompany the film, showing viewers the behind-the-scenes process of producing the project.

Dear Basketball is the perfect tribute to something I’ve loved for so long,” Bryant in a statement. “Working with Sports Illustrated on this special project is an amazing opportunity to hopefully inspire fans all over the world.”

• MORE NBA: Timeline: 20 years of Kobe Bryant

Bryant announced in November that his 20th NBA season would be his last. He retired with 33,643 career points and 18 All-Star selections to cap his legendary career with the Lakers.

“Dear Basketball” the poem was originally published on The Players’ Tribune, which will also help promote the film project.

“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,” said Rich Battista, President of the Time Inc. Entertainment and Sports Group and Video. “We are excited for Kobe’s fans and the global community of sport, entertainment and art enthusiasts to experience these productions.”

Glenn Keane, who has animated movies such as Tangled and The Little Mermaid, will animate the film. Five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams, who is responsible for the scores for the Indiana Jones series and Star Wars, among others, will provide the music for the project.

SI, Kobe Studios and Believe Entertainment Group will co-host a red carpet event when the film is released.

- Erin Flynn