Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is widely regarded as one of the best NBA players of all time. Throughout his 20-year-long NBA career, Kobe earned numerous awards and set a variety of records to his name. He spent his entire career with just one team, the Los Angeles Lakers, which in itself is a record, second just to Mavericks’ legend Dirk Nowitzki.
Kobe was famous for his competitive drive and always-ready-to-learn attitude, which played a key role in his success as a professional. While his storied NBA career is highly popular, not as many people are aware that he also has an Oscar to his name.
Which movie did Kobe Bryant win the Oscar for?
Kobe announced his retirement from the NBA by writing a poem for The Players’ Tribune in November 2015. Over a year later, ‘Dear Basketball’, a nearly five-and-a-half minute animated short which illustrates Bryant’s poem, narrated by himself, was released. Produced by Kobe and directed and animated by Glen Keane, the short movie bagged the coveted Oscar in 2018 for ‘Best Animated Short Film’.
The movie featured lines from Kobe’s poem, such as “This season is all I have left to give. / My heart can take the pounding / My mind can handle the grind / But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye,”. John Williams, an award-winning composer who worked on movies like “Star Wars”, helped with the music for this project.
US athlete Kobe Bryant was born #OnThisDay in 1978, and would become one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He penned the script for the animated short film Dear Basketball, which received an Oscar in 2018. In 2020, Bryant tragically died in a helicopter crash. pic.twitter.com/iRdY54OsYm
— DW Culture (@dw_culture) August 23, 2022
Keane had previously contributed to iconic Disney films including “The Little Mermaid,” “Tarzan,” and “Beauty and the Beast,”. He thanked Bryant for scripting the short in their Oscar victory speech. “It’s a message for all of us: Whatever form your dream may take, it’s through passion and perseverance that the impossible is possible,” Keane added.
Bryant jokingly responded, “I don’t know if it’s possible. I mean, as basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble, but I’m glad we did a little bit more than that.”
After Kobe’s unfortunate demise in January 2020, The Academy posted a tribute to him on their social handles. The caption read, “They doubted a kid could make it in the NBA and he proved them wrong. They doubted he could win a championship and he proved them wrong. They doubted he could make movies and he won an Oscar. Like all great artists, Kobe Bryant proved the doubters wrong. Rest in peace.”
Later on, they also paid homage to Bryant during the Oscars in 2020. Director Spike Lee arrived on the red carpet dressed in a custom royal purple Gucci suit with the number “24” embroidered on his front lapels and underneath his back collar, referencing Kobe’s iconic jersey number 24. With the Oscar win, Kobe proved his talents reached far beyond the basketball court.