Here’s one of the lines in Kobe Bryant’s Oscar-winning short film Dear Basketball:
I did everything for YOU.
Because that’s what you do when someone makes you feel, as alive as you’ve made me feel.
Fate can be cruel, sometimes, and it did not give Kobe a chance to say goodbye before his ultimate farewell from the planet.
With this movie, his did bid adieu to his favourite game, though. Many would say that the game was, in fact, his life.
However, with his demise, these lines have taken another meaning; the word ‘alive’ in there is going to haunt us forever.
As is everything else.
The 4-minute-long animated movie shows (or well, attempts to show) Kobe’s journey. How the kid who used to play with rolled socks, grew up to become one the greatest athletes humans have known.
From the moment I started rolling my dad’s tube socks, And shooting imaginary, game-winning shots. In the Great Western Forum, I knew one thing was real: I fell in love with you.
The love for Basketball demanded everything Kobe had. And Kobe gave it willingly, with all the love in his heart.
I ran up and down every court, after every loose ball for you.You asked for my hustle, I gave you my heart.Because it came with so much more, I played through the sweat and hurt.Not because challenge called me, but because YOU called me.I did everything for YOU.
The ‘Laker’ dream’ was not far, now. But it’s hard to fathom that even Kobe would have thought he’d achieve what he went on to. His career was what dreams are made of. There were ups and downs, yes – but when it was time to quit, Kobe knew it was all worth it.
You gave a six-year-old boy his Laker dream, and I’ll always love you for it.But I can’t love you obsessively for much longer, this season is all I have left to give.My heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind.But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
In his heart, though, Kobe was always the kid who rolled dad’s socks to practice basketball. Probably till the time he left the planet.
I’ll always be that kid, with the rolled up socks.Garbage can in the corner, :05 seconds on the clock.Ball in my hands.5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1
Kobe Braynt’s legacy is such, that any description falls short – so it was only fitting that he did it himself. Now that he is no more, his words and actions are all we have – and they all hint towards his for the sport that was his everything.
Dear Basketball, Kobe wasn’t a perfect human but he loved you well and he loved you hard, and while the entire world is going to miss him – you will probably feel the void more than anyone else. Rest easy, Kobe.
You can watch the short film, here: