Kobe Bryant won an Academy Award his and director Glen Keane’s animated short film “Dear Basketball,” but that didn't stop the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from denying Bryant a membership in the organization.

According to reports, the Academy’s Short Films and Feature Animation branch actually approved his inclusion, but the Academy’s governors committee overruled the decision and rescinded the invitation. Although the branch's governor, Bill Kroyer, argued that Bryant has expressed a desire to work in the short films space, the committee ultimately decided that the five-time NBA champion needed to show evidence of a larger career in the field before being granted membership. 

Individuals who win an Academy Award, or are nominated for one, are often considered for inclusion in the organization, which boasts approximately 8,000 members.

In addition to winning an Academy Award for his work on the short film "Dear Basketball," the film also won a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Post-Produced Graphic Design. "Dear Basketball," which chronicles Kobe's time in the sport from a child to NBA champion, is based off a poem of the same title that Bryant wrote for The Player's Tribune in 2015 before his final NBA season. Bryant beat out NBC’s Sunday Night Football, ESPN’s Monday Night Football and CBS’ Thursday Night Football for the Sports Emmy.