The list of nominations for the Oscars was announced on Tuesday morning, January 23. Some movies and stars were expected and there were some surprises. For instance, it was no surprise that Meryl Streep received a nomination for "The Post." It was her 21st nomination. One nomination was definitely a surprise.

You don't usually hear about a sports figure being nominated for an Oscar along with movie stars and producers. However, a former basketball player was among the nominees. Retired Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant was nominated for an Academy Award for his "Dear Basketball" animated short film.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016, but he didn't sit idle. In fact, he said his next 20 years will be better than his previous. That will be interesting to see since Bryant had one of the 10 greatest basketball careers in sports history. Just two years into his retirement, he gets nominated for an Oscar.

About 'Dear Basketball'

Bryant wrote and executive produced the animated short film. Glen Keane directed it, and it premiered on Verizon’s go90. The film was released last April at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. It is based on the 2015 letter Bryant wrote to announce his retirement.

Bryant said that the movie is also based on his basketball experiences during his long career. The six-minute feature is in the same category as four other animated short films that have been nominated for Best Animated Short at the 2018 Oscars.

After finding out about his nomination, the 39-year-old Oscar nominee took to Twitter to share his excitement.

For someone who has had a successful career and has made headlines, Bryant summarized his feeling as “beyond the realm of imagination.”

Since the nominations were announced, Bryant has already been congratulated by his many fans and friends.

They are rooting for him to win his first Oscar. If he does win, the retired professional basketball player and businessman will be able to put his Oscar next to his MVP trophy.

What do you think about Kobe's nomination? Were you surprised he was nominated for his first Oscar? Do you think he has a chance of winning? Everyone will find out when the 90th Academy Awards takes place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California at 5:00 p.m. on March 4, 2018. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor the best films of 2017. Congratulations are in order not just for Kobe Bryant, but for all of the nominees.