Oscars 2018: Kobe Bryant Wins First Oscar For ‘Dear Basketball’ Despite Backlash

News

Congratulations are in order for retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant for his “Best Animated Short Film” Oscar win at the 90th Annual Academy Awards. After serving as executive producer for the six-minute film, based on his retirement letter to the Player’s Tribute, Bryant took home another accolade alongside animator, author and illustrator Glen Keane who shared his words of appreciation first.

“And to Kobe, for writing Dear Basketball,” ended Glen Keane during his acceptance speech. “It’s a message for all of us. Whatever form your dream may take, it’s through passion and perserverance that the impossible is possible.”

“Well, I don’t know if it’s possible,” replied Kobe. “I mean as basketball players we’re really supposed to just shut up and dribble, but I’m glad we can do a little bit more than that.” The retired NBA player went on to thanking the Academy “for this amazing honor.”

“Thank you John Williams for such a wonderful piece of music. Thank you Verizon for believing in the film. Thank you Molly Carter without you we wouldn’t be here. And to my wife, Vanessa, our daughers, Natalia, Giana and Bianca, “Te amo con tu… You are my inspiration. Thank you so much for this.”

Although this is Bryant’s first Oscar nomination, the former athlete and Academy faced criticism for his nomination despite the #MeToo movement. Attention was brought back to Kobe’s 2003 sexual assault case and a 16,000-plus signature petition surfaced and called for Bryant’s nomination to be taken away.

The case was eventually dropped and he and his accuser settled the civil suit out of court.

Watch Bryant’s acceptance speech above.