In a year with intense focus on improper sexual behavior by men, many of them in the entertainment industry, Bryant's victory caused a stir.
At the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday (Monday AEDT), Bryant won an Oscar in the animated short category for "Dear Basketball", a poem he penned down after ending his illustrious basketball career in 2016.
Sports Illustrated reported that the short film, based on Bryant's 2015 letter in the Player's Tribune, was directed with animator Glen Keane. He applauded players still in the game for making drastic steps in upping the sport.
"I've always been told that as basketball players the expectation is that you play", Bryant said. The Laker-great won 5 NBA Finals, 4 All-Star MVP awards, 2 NBA Finals MVP awards, and 1 MVP award during his playing days. The 39-year-old is the first National Basketball Association player in history to win an Academy Award.
"So keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, shut up and dribble". "I think everybody wants to approach things in whatever position that is comfortable for them".
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Last night the Oscars had quite a few surprises, and one of them came from National Basketball Association champion Kobe Bryant. Following sentiments shared by his co-winner who noted that through passion and perseverance, "the impossible is possible", Bryant added: "I don't know if it's possible. This is insane, man, it's insane", an elated Bryant told the gathered media in the backstage area at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
And he wants to do "more, more", Bryant said, saying his eponymous studio was working on a series of five novels the team hopes to pitch as feature-length films.
Several NBA players and former players, including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Magic Johnson, and Shaq, congratulated Bryant on his Academy Award win. "Whether you're a professional athlete or not, actor or not".
The criminal case was dropped when the accuser refused to testify, but Bryant faced a civil suit.