Kobe Bryant wins Oscar for short film ‘Dear Basketball’

Kobe Bryant, winner of the award for Best Animated Short Film for 'Dear Basketball,' appears backstage with his Oscar during the 90th annual Academy Awards on March 4 at Loews Hollywood Hotel in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

By Alex Butler UPI

Shoo-in basketball Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant added an Oscar to his trophy room after taking an award for best animated short film at the Academy Awards.

Bryant, 39, won the award Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif. The venue is just 9.1 miles from the Staples Center, where Bryant starred for 20 seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. That decorated tenure included 18 All-Star selections, five NBA championships and an NBA MVP award.

Dear Basketball received an Oscar nomination in January from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The film is based on a poem Bryant penned for The Players’ Tribune. He produced the animated short with director and supervising producer Glen Keane.

Bryant’s poem detailed his journey playing basketball, from when he started at six-years-old until he retired after the 2015 season.

The Lakers legend threw some shade during his acceptance speech.

“As basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble but I’m glad we do a little bit more than that,” Bryant said at the beginning of the speech. “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 daughters, Natalia, Giana and Bianca, “Te amo con tu…You are my inspiration. Thank you so much for this.”

Shaquille O’Neal spent eight seasons playing with Bryant, winning three consecutive NBA championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He said he is jealous of Bryant’s latest honor.

“Congrats to KOBE first Oscar that’s big bro #dearbasketball. Proud of you, Big honor for you and your family. I’m jealous lol,” O’Neal tweeted Sunday.

Kobe also earned praise from various other NBA superstars, including: Magic Johnson, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.