The surprise collaboration took place during Williams’ Maestro of the Movies collaboration at the Los Angeles venue.
Bryant initially penned his ode to basketball – which doubled as his retirement announcement – for the Players Tribune in November 2015. Following his retirement, Bryant turned “Dear Basketball” into an animated short film featuring music composed by Williams. The short debuted at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
Bryant has long been a fan of Williams’ music: When he returned to the Lakers in 2013 after missing nearly an entire season due to injury, Bryant marked his arrival at center court with Williams’ “Imperial March” theme from Star Wars.
“Why? Because I needed John Williams to inspire me that day,” Bryant said at the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award Gala for the composer. “I’m a passionate believer that everybody needs a muse, and John Williams is one of mine.”
Bryant added, “John’s music achieved a level of perfection that I wanted to replicate on the basketball court. If I could understand how John did it, maybe I could do it to.”