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Kobe Bryant says Oscar is a better prize than an NBA title

Kobe Bryant, seen with director Glen Keane, won Best Animated Short for “Dear Basketball.” (MARK RALSTON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Former basketball star Kobe Bryant said winning his Oscar for best animated short Sunday night was better than winning an NBA title

“It’s, it’s, I feel better than winning a championship. I swear I do,” he said backstage after picking up his award for “Dear Basketball.”

“You know, growing up as a kid, I dreamt of winning championships, and I worked really hard to make that dream come true. But then, like, to have something like this seemingly come out of left field…to have a sense of validation — this is, this is crazy, man.”

Bryant said a lot of people have dismissed his new writing career as “cute,” and that most of his work at his Granity Studios production company in Newport Beach, Calif., puts him far outside his “comfort zone.”

“In playing basketball, the hardest thing to do is to get out of the way of yourself — to try to disassociate any sense of ego that you have. And in writing, it feels like you have to get into a deeper connection with yourself to better understand your fears and insecurities, things that might be going on below the surface,”

he said. “Those are really the two major distinctions between playing and writing.”

He said his 11-year-old daughter told him to “man up” and follow his dreams.

Bryant also talked about his two TV titan mentors, Oprah and Shonda Rhimes

“When I had the idea of starting a studio…the first person I called was Oprah,” he said. “She was very gracious and spent about an hour and some change on the phone, walking me through every step of the way how she built Harpo.”

He said Rhimes invited him to sit during creative meetings at Shondaland.

“When you have mentors like that in your life, everything tends to work itself out. You continue to learn from the best of the best of the best,” he said.

The NBA star also took a shot at Fox News Laura Ingram's rude comment that players like LeBron James should just “shut up and dribble.”

Bryant said: “I think, for us, not just as athletes but as just people in general, we have the ability to speak up for what we believe in,” he said. “You still have ability to speak up for what you believe in…This is a democracy that we live in. That’s what makes America beautiful.”

My view: It appears Kobe Bryant has forgotten that his NBA title made him who he is today, and there's no way he'd be standing on that stage receiving an OSCAR if not for his last name and what he achieved as a basketball player. I'm not dismissing his talent as a writer, but he should stop belittling his NBA title and insulting those who are still basketball players. His comment is no different from what Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham said.

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