NBA Players & The Internet React To Kobe Bryant’s Controversial Oscar Win

“I don’t know if it’s possible, I mean, as basketball players, we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble. I’m glad we do a little bit more than that.” – Kobe

On Sunday night, Kobe Bryant won an Oscar for his Animated short film Dear Basketball, making him the first (and probably only) NBA player to ever win an Academy Award.

If you knew anything about the competition, then you knew the odds of this film losing to one of the other nominees was less than the Lakers losing to the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 NBA Finals; Kobe’s Shaq and Phil Jackson on this Big 3 team was the great John Williams (51 Oscar nominations) and Disney legend Glen Keane, who worked on classics such as The Little MermaidBeauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Tangled.

After the win, which Kobe said felt BETTER than winning a NBA championship, his former championship teammate Shaq and many in the NBA world — including LeBron James, who probably just added ‘win two Oscars’ to his bucket list — tweeted congrats to the five-time NBA champ and one-time MVP (yes, Kobe was robbed of a couple) on his latest award.

“Congrats to KOBE first Oscar that’s big bro. Proud of you, Big honor for you and your family. I’m jealous lol” – Shaq

“Salute Kobe Bryant on that Oscar!! #WeAreMoreThanShutUpDribble #UJustContinueToSitBackAndWatch” – LeBron James


Here’s Kobe’s full post award comments about why this win felt better than his NBA championship ones.

“I feel better than winning a championship to be honest with you. I swear I do!. You know growing up as a kid, I dreamt about winning championships and worked really hard to make that dream come true. But then to have something like this come seemingly out of left field…I said I wanted to be a writer and a storyteller and I got a lot of ‘that’s cute. You’ll be depressed when your career is over and you’ll come back to playing.’ I got that a lot. To be here now and to have that sense of validation, this is crazy man! It’s crazy!”

Kleane then joked that you don’t have to sit in a tub of ice after winning an Oscar.


Not everyone was so happy to see Kobe on stage during a night that was missing Harvey Weinstein in the crowd, Casey Affleck as a presenter and just as much about movements such as Time’s Up and #MeToo.

Back in 2003, a 24-year-old Bryant was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel employee. Although the case was eventually dropped, Kobe issued a public apology that no lawyer in today’s social media world would ever allow their client to do.

“First, I want to apologize directly to the young woman involved in this incident. I want to apologize to her for my behavior that night and for the consequences she has suffered in the past year

“I also want to make it clear that I do not question the motives of this young woman. No money has been paid to this woman. She has agreed that this statement will not be used against me in the civil case. Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.

This incident was not forgotten or excused by many.

The following is a collection of supportive tweets from the sports world and the exact opposite from many other people on the internet.