He has five NBA Championships and two Olympic gold medals. He has been named the NBA Finals MVP twice and won the MVP of the regular season award as well but on Sunday evening, Kobe Bryant added an Oscar Award to his already extremely impressive CV. “Dear Basketball” won the Academy Award for Best Short Movie (Animated).
The six-minute long film is based on Bryant’s retirement letter, in the form of a poem, in the Players Tribune from 2015. The film was directed with the help of animator Glen Keane, who has previously worked on highly acclaimed films like “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
“As basketball players we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble. I’m glad we’re doing much more than that,” Bryant said in his acceptance speech, referencing to the controversial statements made by Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham. He went on to thank the Academy, composer John Williams, his wife and daughters.
Keane thanked Bryant, saying the short film has “a message for all of us — whatever form your dream may take, it’s through passion and perseverance, that the impossible is possible.”
In the letter, Bryant had described basketball as “A love so deep I gave you my all/From my mind & body/To my spirit & soul.”
Other nominees for the award were “Garden Party”, “Lou”, “Negative Space” and “Revolting Rhymes”.
Kobe Bryant retired in 2016 after spending 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers.