Former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant made history Sunday night, becoming the first NBA player and Olympic gold medalist to also win an Academy Award when his film, “Dear Basketball,” won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
The honor was a meaningful one for Bryant, who had previously said that winning an Oscar would be a bigger deal for him than any of his five NBA championships or countless other basketball accolades.
The rest of the basketball world was quick to congratulate the NBA legend and future Hall-of-Famer, with Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, former Lakers guard Nick Van Exel and Nike’s official account among those to wish Bryant well upon his Oscar win:
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 5, 2018
Congratulations to my good friend @kobebryant for winning the Oscar for best animated short film. Well deserved!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) March 5, 2018
Congrats to KOBE first Oscar that’s big bro #dearbasketball. Proud of you, Big honor for you and your family. I’m jealous lol
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) March 5, 2018
— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) March 5, 2018
— Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball) March 5, 2018
Congrats @kobebryant still doing your thing.
— nick vanexel (@vanexel31) March 5, 2018
It seemed unlikely when Bryant retired that he’d ever be better at anything than he was at basketball, but at this point he might be better at filmmaking by the numbers.
He’s shooting 1-for-1 on short films so far, winning the most prestigious award possible on his first try, while he has “only” won five titles in his seven NBA Finals appearances.
Okay, so that might be a stretch. Still, Bryant deserves recognition for his early filmmaking success, and it’s incredible that he might find something else he can reach the mountaintop at repeatedly after one of the most successful careers in NBA history.