(by Baxie) During the 71 years that the NBA has been around, no player in league history has ever won an Academy Award. Yes, Dennis Rodman showed amazing promise when he starred in the 1997 classic “Double Team” with Jean Claude Van Dam. Instead the Oscar that year went to the overrated Jack Nicholson for his role in “As Good as it Gets”. I must assume that the academy didn’t not see “Double Team” that year. However, in my opinion, Rodman was an artistic tour de force who’s power and emotional breadth were both inspiring and revelatory.
Never the less, last night former Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was given the academy award in the animated short category for “Dead Basketball” —which I full disclosure, I did not see. But that’s mostly because I did know that it even existed. However, it does. And now Kobe has an Oscar to go with his 5 NBA championships and his 2008 MVP award. That’s right. Kobe has as many MVP awards as he currently has Oscars. Michael Jordan never got nominated for his work in Space Jam. Nobody nominated Shaquille O’Neill for his brilliant performances in both “Kazam” or in Blue Chips with Nick Nolte. Hell, where was the academy when Kareem Adbul-Jabbar starred alongside Peter Graves as co-pilot Roger Murdoch in the first “Airplane” movie?!? At least I saw those movies.
I haven’t seen “Dear Basketball”. That’s probably because they don’t typically show your academy award nominated animated shorts at any of the 16 Rave theaters at the Eastfield Mall. They barely have any businesses at the Eastfield Mall. And yet, now that Kobe has won the Oscar, I almost feel inspired to track it down somewhere and watch “Dear Basketball” in its entirety. It’s only five minutes long. Plus it’s animated. It’s like a cartoon—but with an academy award. Not all of my favorite cartoons get that kind of notoriety. (Not even Space Jam with Michael Jordan) So congratulations to Kobe Bryant for making something out of his retirement. My question is what he’s going to do for the next five minutes?