One of the most unlikely Oscar winners at the 90th Academy Awards had a difficult time believing he was onstage accepting the coveted award. NBA superstar Kobe Bryant won the Oscar for Best Animated Short for his love letter, “Dear Basketball.”
Bryant is the first NBA player in history to win an Academy Award, which will now sit alongside Bryant’s incredible collection of athletic accolades.
Bryant is a five-time NBA Champion, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, NBA League MVP, and 15-time NBA All-Star. He also won the Slam Dunk Competition for good measure. His whole life was devoted to the game but, like most players, he never considered the end of his career. His five-minute short, based on a poem he wrote to announce his retirement is a thoughtful consideration and thank you to the game that made him great.
Since his retirement, Bryant has dedicated himself to film production. The endeavor, as with everything Bryant has done, has been wildly successful.
Bryant made a quick jab at Fox commentator who told Laura Ingraham, who recently told Lebron James and Kevin Durant to “shut up and dribble” when she disagreed with their politics.
Fans also noticed the disbelief on Kobe’s face when he received the award. Some thought he was confused as to why his name was not on the award, as NBA awards come with the name of the winner already on the trophy. Academy Awards are engraved for each winner backstage after they have won.
But Bryant clarified backstage, “This feels better than winning a championship. As a kid I dreamed of winning championships, but to have this come out of left field– this is crazy.”
“Dear Basketball” was written by Bryant.