The 90th Academy Awards took place overnight with former basketball star Kobe Bryant picking up an Oscar for best animated short.
‘Dear Basketball’ is based on the National Basketball Association great’s 2015 poem, published on the Players’ 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.
“I feel better than winning the championship, to be honest with you. I swear I do,” Bryant said. “To be here right now and to have like … a sense of validation is … this is crazy, man. It’s crazy.”
Plaudits came in from across the world of sport, including from Le Bron James, who referenced an incident earlier this year when a Fox News host said he should “shut up and dribble” after being outspoken in his criticism of Donald Trump.
Bryant was already one of basketball’s most decorated legends, but after Michael Jordan somehow missed out on a Best Actor Oscar for his seminal depiction of himself in Space Jam, the former Lakers star now has a unique claim to greatness.