Oscar winner's 'precious' tribute to Kobe Bryant

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

Oscar-winning director and die-hard basketball fan Spike Lee paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant at this year’s award ceremony in fitting fashion, donning a purple and gold suit in honour of the late NBA legend.

Bryant, who won an Oscar award himself in 2018 for Best Animated Short Film, was killed in a helicopter crash along with his daughter Gianna and seven others in January.

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His short film, ‘Dear Basketball’ was an adaptation of the poem penned to announce his retirement from the league back in 2016.

Lee’s suit, which had Bryant’s jersey number 24 embroidered on each lapel, as well as on the back, was widely praised by basketball fans online.

Director and die-hard NBA fan Spike Lee wore a purple and gold suit to the Oscars, paying tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. (CRAIG SJODIN via Getty Images)

The long-time director also wore a pair of Nike Kobe 9 Elite ‘Strategy’ sneakers, which the NBA star had helped design.

Well known for his outspoken support of the New York Knicks, Lee directed a documentary about Bryant in 2009 entitled ‘Kobe Doin’ Work’, which chronicled one day of the Lakers’ 2007/08 season.

Bryant was featured in the Oscars’ ‘In Memoriam’ segment, in which one of the Lakers star’s most prominent quotes was featured.

“Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged,” Bryant said.

“You have to keep moving. You have to keep going.”

Former NFL player turned writer and performer Matthew A. Cherry, who won Best Animated Short for his film Hair Love, along with producer Karen Rupert Toliver, paid tribute to Bryant during his own speech.

Cherry dedicated the win to Bryant.

“This award is dedicated to Kobe Bryant, may we all have a second act as great as his was,” Cherry said.