Kobe Bryant Wins Oscar For Best Animated Short Film
At Sunday night’s 90th annual Academy Awards, Kobe Bryant won another trophy, this one for the Oscar in the Animated Short category.
Bryant, the retired Los Angeles Lakers star, brought home the golden statue for his contributions to the animated short “Dear Basketball” is based on the National Basketball Association great’s 2015 poem, published on the Player’s Tribune website, announcing his final NBA season. Bryant narrated the five-minute film, which was directed by Glen Keane and scored by Oscar winner John Williams.
The film shows top moments from Bryant’s career animated in hand-drawn images while he recites the letter about his devotion to the sport from a young age and a body that will no longer allow him to compete at the highest level.
Bryant, who seemed in disbelief and had to take a deep breath as he repeatedly looked at his Oscar, then delivered a message.
“I don’t know if it’s possible,” Bryant retorted. “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.”
He thanked his wife, Vanessa, and his three daughters, naming each of them. He spoke a few words of Italian — a language he learned as a child growing up in Italy — and closed by telling them, “You are my inspiration.”
Bryant told reporters in the interview room after receiving the award, “I feel better than winning a championship, to be honest with you. I swear I do.”
Bryant has started his own production company in retirement, Kobe Studios. He told news media he sought out Oprah Winfrey and TV producer Shonda Rhimes for guidance when he launched the studio.
Bryant clearly has taken to his second career, saying he is also working on a series of novels, adding: “I wake up in the morning, I can’t wait to write, I can’t wait to get to the studio.”
Bryant said he got his inspiration to turn the project into a film from his 11-year-old daughter, Gianna, who told him, “Dad, you always tell us to go after our dreams, so man up.”
Bryant, 39, a five-time NBA champion, played 20 seasons with the Lakers before retiring following the 2015-16 season.