Last night, Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 90th Academy Awards (Oscars). The Oscars has various categories dedicated to different films. The categories include Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, and Best Animated Short Film. This year, the Best Animated Short Film category featured a short film by Kobe Bryant titled ‘Dear Basketball’. ESPN reported that Bryant won an Oscar for his film
Bryant was the executive producer of this film, and also served as the narrator. ‘Dear Basketball’ is based on Bryant’s letter in 2015, where he announced his retirement. Animator Glen Keane turned the letter into an animated film. When the film won the award, Bryant and Keane took the stage to say their thanks.
Bryant started his speech by alluding to a recent controversy.
“I don’t know if it’s possible,” Bryant said. “I mean, as basketball players, we are really supposed to shut up and dribble. But I am glad we do a little bit more than that.”
Bryant received praise from fellow NBA stars past and present. He received praise from LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Kevin Durant, and his former Lakers’ teammate Shaquille O’Neal. Durant said Bryant’s presence on the Oscars’ stage says a lot. Durant called Bryant a great storyteller, and it is only right that Bryant tells his stories.
Kobe Bryant accomplished great things in his career. He is a 5-time NBA champion, an 18-time NBA All-Star, and a 2-time Finals MVP. Bryant is a basketball legend, who is arguably the second-best shooting guard to play the game. The “Black Mamba” has another trophy to add to his extensive collection. This time, this trophy comes from outside of basketball. Bryant’s Oscar is not only a significant victory for himself, but for the entire NBA. NBA players are starting to create other ventures outside of basketball. For example, Lebron James. James, along with his high-school friend Maverick Carter, started a production company called SpringHill Entertainment.
Kobe Bryant may be the first NBA player to win an Oscar, but he may not be the last. His accomplishment was groundbreaking and will pave the way for others.