“No, I don’t. It’s crazy,” the former Los Angeles Laker said on “Good Morning America.” “I started playing when I was 2. After playing for 20 years in the league, what I have now is -- everything I’ve learned from the game, I carry with me to this day. The game has never truly left me. Physically, yes. But emotionally, and the things that I write, all stem from the game. So it’s still a part of me.”
Bryant, 38, said it was important for athletes to understand there will be an end to their career on the court.
“The other thing is that, for the athletes that come next, understand that there is a finale to it. And that’s OK,” he said.
“It’s very hard to let go of something that you’ve done for half your life. It’s kind of become who you are. But it’s a difference between doing what you do versus understanding that that is not who you are. Hopefully, other athletes can see that and understand that.”
“I tried to write it in a very visual way versus simply coming out and saying, ‘This is how I feel,’” he explained. “I tried to put it through story. You see the whole dedication and commitment [of his childhood playing basketball] through rolling my dad’s tube socks. You see it through all the VHS tapes of all the past games. So you can see the growth and see the love.”
Bryant teamed up with veteran animator Glen Keane and legendary composer John Williams for “Dear Basketball.”
“That’s the beauty of creating things. You have the opportunity to work with people that want to create great things. And I couldn’t have been more fortunate to come out in the first project and work with Glen Keane and John Williams.”