Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant added another trophy to his large collection of career accolades Sunday. Except this one has a much different feel than the five Larry O'Brien trophies the future Hall of Famer won over his storied basketball career.
Bryant's Dear Basketball won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film at Sunday's Academy Awards. The six-minute film is based on a poem Bryant wrote that was published in The Players Tribune in 2015, when he announced his retirement from the NBA. Glen Keane, who has animation credits for Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, helped direct the film.
“I’ve always been told that as basketball players the expectation is that you play. This is all you know. This is all you do," he told the outlet. "Don’t think about handling finances. Don’t think about going into business. Don’t think that you want to be a writer — that’s cute. I got that a lot.
"What do you want to do when you retire? ‘Well, I want to be a storyteller.’ That’s cute. This is … a form of validation for people to look and say, ‘OK, he really can do something other than dribble and shoot.'”
Bryant, who retired in 2016 after 20 years in the NBA — all with the Lakers — also won two Olympic gold medals, two NBA Finals MVP awards, one regular-season MVP and was an 18-time All-Star.