Kobe Bryant Wins Oscar for Best Animated Short — With Oprah’s Advice

“It feels better than winning the championships,” Kobe Bryant said tonight backstage at the 2018 Oscars. “To have something like this comes out of left field.”

Kobe Bryant is officially an Oscar winner.

The former NBA superstar took home the Academy Award for best animated short with his work as the executive producer of Dear Basketball, gracing the stage with director and animator Glen Keane. The six-minute film, which recalls Bryant’s illustrious basketball career, triumphed over Garden Party, Lou, Negative Space and Revolting Rhymes.

“All of it put me outside my comfort zone,” Bryant revealed while speaking to reporters after his big win.

Ahead of his foray into film, the baller got advice from the pros. “The first person I called was Oprah,” Bryant explained, adding that he wanted to find out about how she built her media empire. “She was gracious enough to spend an hour on the phone. She was a mentor then and a mentor now. When you have mentors like that in your life, things continue to work out.”

Wearing custom David August and Christian Louboutin shoes, the five-time NBA championship winner addressed the poem he wrote in 2015 when he announced his retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers, which served as the basis of his award-winning short.

“I don’t know if it’s possible, I mean, as basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble,” Bryant said in his speech. “I’m glad we do a little bit more than that.” The phrase was a jab at Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who last month made controversial comments about Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James’ political activism.

Keane also spoke to the audience: “[Dear Basketball] is a message for all of us. Whatever form your dream may take, it’s through passion and perseverance that the impossible is possible.”

Adding to his entertainment moves, Bryant’s Granity Studios has also teamed up with ESPN, which announced in January that it would be working on a new basketball show named Detail — to be written, produced and hosted by Bryant himself.

 

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