Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant was pretty adamant that the Oscar he won for an animated short on Sunday was better than an NBA championship. Of course, when you've won five championship rings, maybe a new statue seems novel.
"I feel better than winning a championship, to be honest with you," Bryant told press after the big win for his short film titled Dear Basketball. "I swear I do. Growing up, as a kid, I dreamt of winning championships and working really hard to make that dream come true.
"But then to have something like this seemingly come out of left field. I heard a lot of people tell me, when I started writing, they would ask me, 'What are you going to do when you retire?' And I'd say, 'Well I want to be a writer. I want to be a storyteller.' And I got a lot of, 'That’s cute. That's cute,'" Bryant continued. "'You'll be depressed when your career's over, and you’ll come back and play.' And I got that a lot. And to be here now and have this sense of validation, this is crazy, man. It’s crazy."
Right after Bryant made his remarks, Dear Basketball animator Glen Keane cracked a joke about the physical toll of playing in the NBA.
"Not only that, after the win, you don't have to sit in the tub of ice," he said to Bryant, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Earlier in the evening, while accepting the Oscar for best animated short feature, Bryant made headlines with a dig at Fox News host Laura Ingraham who said she thought NBA superstar LeBron James should "shut up and dribble" after he spoke out against President Donald Trump and having a racist slur painted on his home last year.
"I don’t know if it's possible, I mean, as basketball players, we're really supposed to shut up and dribble," he said onstage. "I'm glad we do a little bit more than that."