Watch Kobe Bryant's 2018 Oscar Acceptance Speech – When He Shaded Fox News' Laura Ingraham (Video)

Watch Kobe Bryant's 2018 Oscar Acceptance Speech – When He Shaded Fox News' Laura Ingraham (Video)

January 26, 2020

The late basketball legend earned an Academy Award for the animated short “Dear Basketball”

Two years ago, Kobe Bryant became the first person to win both a sporting championship and an Oscar with his victory in the Best Animated Short Film for “Dear Basketball.”

The five-time NBA champion and former Los Angeles Lakers, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash in L.A. County at age 41, won the Academy Award for his collaboration with animator Glen Keane.

In his acceptance speech as he took the stage with Keane, Bryant aimed a swift jab Fox News host Laura Ingraham, by saying basketball stars shouldn’t just “shut up and dribble.”

Ingraham had come under heavy fire the previous month for criticizing LeBron James and fellow NBA star Kevin Durant for making anti-Trump comments in an interview with ESPN’s Cari Champion for “UNINTERRUPTED,” saying they shouldn’t comment on politics and should “shut up and dribble.”

Durant went on to say that he thought Ingraham’s on-air comments were “racist,” while James responded in a simple Instagram post, stressing “I am more than an athlete.”

“I’ve always been told that as basketball players the expectation is that you play. This is all you know. This is all you do. Don’t think about handling finances. Don’t think about going into business. Don’t think that you want to be a writer 00 that’s cute,” Bryant told the Undefeated ahead of the Oscar ceremony. “I got that a lot. What do you want to do when you retire? ‘Well, I want to be a storyteller.’ That’s cute.

“This is … a form of validation for people to look and say, ‘OK, he really can do something other than dribble and shoot,” he said.

“Dear Basketball” features Keane’s line drawings to animate the poem that Bryant wrote to announce his retirement from the NBA in 2016. The short first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Keane is the award-winning animator behind “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid,” while Bryant was an NBA All-Star 18 times during his two decades with the Lakers.

Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2020 (Photos)

  • David Stern,

    The former longtime commissioner of the NBA died Jan. 1 following a brain hemorrhage, according to a statement from current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. He was 77.

  • Andrew Burkle  

    Andrew Burkle, an aspiring film producer and the son of billionaire Ron Burkle, died Jan. 6 in his Beverly Hills home, according to People Magazine. He was 27.

  • Elizabeth Wurtzel 

    The author of the seminal 1994 memoir “Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America” died in a Manhattan hospital on Jan. 7 at age 52.

  • Silvio Horta 

    Silvio Horta, creator of ABC comedy series “Ugly Betty,” was found dead in a Miami motel room Jan. 7. He was 45.

  • Neil Peart 

    The drummer and lyricist for the ’70s and ’80s Canadian progressive rock band Rush  died on Jan. 7, according to the band’s Twitter account. He was 67.

  • Harry Hains 

    Harry Hains, an actor and producer who had appeared on “American Horror Story: Hotel,” “The OA,” “Sneaky Pete” and “The Surface,” died on Jan. 7. He was 27.

  • Buck Henry 

    The actor-screenwriter-director who co-created “Get Smart,” co-wrote “The Graduate” and co-directed the hit 1978 Warren Beatty film “Heaven Can Wait” died on Jan. 8 in Los Angeles. He was 89.

  • Edd Byrnes

    The actor, who played Vince Fontaine in “Grease” and also starred on the series “77 Sunset Strip” as the teen idol “Kookie,” died on Jan. 8. He was 87.

  • Ivan Passer 

    Ivan Passer, a pioneering filmmaker in the Czech New Wave, a frequent collaborator with the late Milos Forman and the director of the 1981 film “Cutter’s Way,” died on Jan. 9. He was 86.

  • Stan Kirch 

    Stan Kirsch, one of the stars of the syndicated ’90s fantasy drama “Highlander: The Series,” died on Jan. 11. He was 51.

  • Rocky Johnson 

    Rocky Johnson, a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and the father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, died on Jan. 15 at the age of 75.

  • Terry Jones 

    Terry Jones, a beloved member of the Monty Python comedy troupe who directed many of its classic films, died Jan. 21. He was 77.

  • Tyler Gwozdz 

    Former “Bachelorette” contestant Tyler Gwozdz, who appeared on the 2019 season of the reality series, died Jan. 22 of a suspected drug overdose at age 29.


  • Kobe Bryant 

    Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant was killed Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on that killed four others. He was 41

A look at the stars in movies, TV, music, sports and media we lost this year

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