Kobe Bryant and family at a screening of Dear Basketball at the Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for Steed Media Service.)

Kobe Bryant and family at a screening of Dear Basketball at the Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for Steed Media Service.)

Retired NBA player and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant and his family were at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival for a screening of Bryant’s Dear Basketball short film inspired by his writing. Rolling out spoke exclusively with the Black Mamba about his writing skills and his wife Vanessa Bryant about the next chapter in her husband’s life. We then sat in on a panel after the screening moderated by NFL Hall of Famer and “Good Morning America” personality Michael Strahan featuring Kobe and the short film’s animator Glen Keane.

Kobe exclusively told rolling out about his love for prose. He said, “I had a great teacher at Lower Merion High School who taught me the beauty of writing and the beauty of storytelling and that’s where it started.” We then asked Vanessa Bryant when she knew this would be the next chapter in the life of her husband. “A few years ago,” she responded, with Kobe adding “and here we are” with a big smile.

In front of an audience that included the most influential NBA coach in Bryant’s career, New York Knicks President Phil Jackson, and Reverend Run of RunDMC, Kobe shared he knew he had a good short film when his wife Vanessa sobbed while watching.

Strahan asked a question that inspired Kobe to share a funny story about the last game of his career.  He recalled, “I forgot that I had a game that night. I was at the office and writing and polishing some stories off. And I looked at my watch and said I have to go.” But he’s still Kobe, and shared, “I could have had 90,” adding “I missed a lot of easy ones.” The Mamba Mentality makes Kobe Bryant someone who strives for perfection in every aspect of life.

His strive toward perfection inspires many, including Beyoncé. “We go to a [Beyoncé] concert; we go backstage and say hi to B. We go, ‘that was amazing,’ and she goes, ‘I learned it from you,'” Kobe recalls. He seemed to have really enjoyed telling his kids, “told [you] so!”

Narrated by Kobe himself, Dear Basketball is a short film that, like Vanessa Bryant, will certainly make any fan of the legend emotional. It takes us on a journey starting with young Kobe in the early 1980s watching the greats and perfecting his craft. With his body no longer able to perform, the now-retired baller says goodbye, closing with “love you always, Kobe.”  If basketball had a voice, it would certainly respond, “love you too, Basketball.”

After the break, listen to our interview with the Kobe Bryant.

Lover of Christ, sports, hip-hop, my hometown of Harlem and much more. IG @JazzJohnson1

  • Shanise Moss

    Kobe over rated.

    • Mason Youngblood

      Do you have 6 NBA championship rings to underate Kobe’s 5?…no?..then that opinion don’t matter at all…

      • Shanise Moss

        No your reply doesn’t matter. Moving right along. You didn’t have to comment on what I said. I see you like a fruitless debate, not going to get one from me.

        • Derrel Johnson

          But this piece not about Kobe Bryant, the legendary basketball player.

        • Mason Youngblood

          Just stating facts ma’am..5 championship rings is not an easy feat..

          • Paytc

            Especially when it would have been about 8 had the NBA not did the unprecedented veto of a done deal CP3 trade. They knew Kobe with help spelled doom for the hand selected NBA torch carrying Lebron James.Not to mention had the team not completely dismantled the back to back 2009 & 2010 championship team which was still the best team in the NBA add or minus a player or two like the Spurs successfully do year after year to remain near the top. But none of those decisions were on Kobe. All he did was continue to play at the highest level with very little help even after the achilles injury. I guess that is why he went on to win the “Win Anyway ” championship in our book “Win Anyway.” Recognized alongside the greatest Muhammad Ali.

          • Derrel Johnson

            The NBA was in charge of that team and it was a bad trade. The Lakers still got Steve Nash and Dwight Howard and were awful. How did they dismantle the 2010 championship team?

          • Paytc

            The NBA was in charge of the CP3 veto not the team. And Steve Nash and Howard were awful players and/ or awful fits for the Lakers. Who in the F***** wanted the Lakers to turn into the Suns or Los Angeles to turn into Nashville? Going to get DAntone and Nash on his last legs wasn’t anywhere near CP3. And when has the no free throw shooting, bad work ethic, disrespectful clown Howard ever been a champion?Has Nash ever been a champion even when young and healthy? And the idiots could have grabbed Rondo but passed on that opportunity as well. So you had two things working at once none of which Kobe could do anything about. First… major Kobe and Laker hating by the league and folks like Dan Gilbert. Then after putting together the excellent trade to pick up CP3 and mind you the Lakers were giving up Gasol and Odom so it wasn’t like the Lakers were just stacking an already stacked team so the deal should have been allowed. But the Kobe/ Laker hating in support of Lebron James being able to win championships was more important than playing it fair. Like I said ….. who still watches this sh*** They dismantled the team after the CP3 deal veto when they put the CP3 deal together and it failed because Gasol’s ego was hurt as was Odom because they probably thought they should have been respected and valued more as Lakers. So players like Bynum, Gasol, Fisher, Ariza, Odom etc… were moved as the stupid rebuilding began. Things were far better when Buss was alive no doubt.

        • CosmoBeauty

          Good come back👍🏾! I can’t stand internet Trolls👹 either. They have nothing better else to do than gripe over others OPINIONS. Loses at best!

      • Derrel Johnson

        Damn sure doesn’t lol

    • Derrel Johnson

      Overrated as a writer and a filmmaker? Because that’s what this is about.