Kobe Bryant became the first NBA player to win an Academy Award for his work on “Dear Basketball,” which was a love letter to the sport he began playing as a child and pursued a professional career starting at the age of 18 when he became a Los Angeles Laker. In 2016, when he retired from the sport, he reflected on his incredible career in a letter, which ultimately became the animated film “Dear Basketball.”
The film won Best Animated Short at the 90th Oscars in 2018. As Kobe took the stage, his wife looked lovingly on from the audience. Kobe kept his speech brief, but took the moment to thank his family, which he did in Italian, as well as English.
“As basketball players, we’re supposed to just shut up and dribble,” Kobe began. “I am glad we did a little more than that. Thank you Academy for this amazing honor. Thank you Verizon for believing in the film. Thank you John Williams for such a wonderful piece of music. Thank you Molly Carter, without you we wouldn’t be here.”
“To my wife, Vanessa , our daughters Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, “Ti amo con tutto il cuore. I Love you with all my heart,” Kobe closed. “You are my inspiration.”
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