The 90th Academy Awards Sunday saw a couple of notable sports connections. In addition to Icarus (about doping in sports and the Russian doping scandal in particular) winning Best Documentary Feature, former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant took home an Oscar in the best animated short category for Dear Basketball, a six-minute animated film produced with Disney animator Glen Keane (they’re seen accepting the awards above) and available on go90.
The film is an animated version of a Players’ Tribune poem Bryant wrote in November 2015 to announce his upcoming retirement at the end of the year.
Bryant made some notable comments in the wake of his win, on stage and off. First, on stage, he referenced Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s controversial “shut up and dribble” comments about LeBron James and Kevin Durant discussing politics. Bryant said “I mean, as basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble, but I’m glad we do a little bit more than that.” Afterwards, he told reporters backstage that this was a special moment for him.
Here’s a recap of that from Beth Harris of The Associated Press:
Backstage, Bryant looked lovingly at the statue cradled in his hands and mouthed, “My God.”
“I feel better than winning championships,” he said, a smile never leaving his face. “This is crazy, man, it’s crazy.”
And Bryant earned plenty of congratulations from the rest of the basketball world, including one notable former Lakers teammate:
Congrats to KOBE first Oscar that’s big bro #dearbasketball. Proud of you, Big honor for you and your family. I’m jealous lol
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) March 5, 2018
Well, Shaq was robbed for Kazaam. Really, he should have gotten there first. Or perhaps Rick Fox in Blue Chips or Eddie. But all of those former Lakers may wind up behind in the hardware department once Lonzo Ball starts pulling in the Emmys for Ball In The Family.