Kobe Bryant talks Oscar win on 'Jimmy Kimmel'

It’s been a few days since Kobe Bryant went from NBA legend to Oscar winner thanks to his best animated short award for Dear Basketball. But the win still hasn’t sunk in, as Bryant said in an appearance Thursday on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

“I mean what in the hell,” Bryant, 39, of Wynnewood, said. “I’m still tripping about it.”

Bryant became the first former NBA player to win an Oscar, and as he told Kimmel, the first African-American to take one home in the best animated short category. But the win was a big one, Bryant told Kimmel that he knows his limitations, and won’t be going for any other awards — least of all a Grammy.

“I don’t even sound good in the shower,” he said.

The former Lakers shooting guard (or small forward, as he described it) also told Kimmel that he hopes to use his win as a platform to bring more diversity into the animation industry.

“Now there’s a greater sense of responsibility. How do I create? How do I provide more opportunities for more diverse and new voices to be heard in this industry?” he said. “Like, in the animation business there’s a serious lack of diversity.”

Kimmel congratulated Bryant on his win, and gifted him two miniature Lakers jerseys — one number 8 and one number 24 — for his Oscar statue. Bryant famously changed his his number to 24 for the 2006 season as a callback to his days playing ball at Lower Merion High School.

Bryant, however, is not the only Philadelphian to impress Kimmel recently. As Kimmel tweeted on the night of the Oscars, he enjoyed some food from chef Marc Vetri, who helped feed hungry attendees.

Kimmel and Bryant did not discuss the mixed reaction to Bryant’s Oscar win online, which largely focused on the former basketball star taking home an Academy Award during a year focused on the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Bryant was accused of raping a 19-year-old hotel employee in Colorado in 2003. Police charged Bryant and brought the case to trial, but it was dropped after the alleged victim refused to testify.

Bryant settled a civil lawsuit in connection with the case out of court in 2005.

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