LOS ANGELES - NBA legend Kobe Bryant is now an Oscar winner! The five-time NBA champion won the Academy Award for his animated short "Dear Basketball" along with animator Glen Keane.
"As basketball players we're really supposed to shut up and dribble, but I'm glad we did a little bit more than that," Bryant said.
He also thanked longtime composer John Williams for helping to create the music for the animated short.
The short is based on Bryant's letter where he announced his retirement from the game that changed his life. He wanted the project hand-drawn, so he turned to Keane, who animated Disney classics such as "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin."
Kobe Bryant, Glen Keane talk Oscars win in press room
While backstage, Bryant said he felt better winning the Oscar than a championship and added the win gave him a sense of validation.
He added that creating the short pulled him out of his comfort zone.
The 39-year-old retired star played 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers before his retirement.