The death of Kobe Bryant was sudden and shocking. For the game of basketball, for fans across the world, it marked the loss of one of its greatest advocates.
Perhaps one of Kobe’s most notable traits is not just his talents on the court, but off the court as well. Just two years ago, Kobe became the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his work on Dear Basketball, directed and animated by Glen Keane, with music by John Williams. Kobe was also the first former professional athlete to be nominated and win an Academy Award ... in any category.
Kobe was a trailblazer.
His multimedia content company—focused on creating new ways to tell educational and inspiring stories about sports—is just one example of the massive footprint he left behind. Only 41 when he died on January 26, 2020 (August 23 would have marked his 42nd birthday), Kobe was clearly just beginning to make his impact on Hollywood. (He was even contacted by writers to play Kevin Garnett’s role in Uncut Gems.)
In honor of a legend, we remember Kobe’s Oscar moment from the 2018 Academy Awards.