Former NBA star Kobe Bryant wins Oscar for best animated short

Kobe Bryant wins Oscar for'Dear Basketball

The short - titled "Dear Basketball" - was based on the letter Bryant wrote to The Players' Tribune in 2015 announcing his retirement. The 39-year-old is the first National Basketball Association player in history to win an Academy Award.

It was written and narrated by Bryant, directed by Glen Keane and Oscar Award-winning composer John Williams produced the score for the film.

During his acceptance speech, Bryant dropped a subtle dig at Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who recently told National Basketball Association players LeBron James and Kevin Durant to "shut up and dribble" after they criticized President Donald Trump in a video on YouTube. "But, I'm glad we do a little but more than that".

Bryant stated, "As basketball players we're really supposed to shut up and dribble, but. we do a bit more than that".

When he was 24 years old, Bryant was accused of sexual assault by a 19-year-old employee of an Edwards, Colorado hotel in which he was staying.

The criminal case was dropped when the accuser refused to testify, but Bryant faced a civil suit.

Bryant then thanked those involved in the film along with his family. Some noted that with past rape accusations against Bryant, his appearance seemed an odd fit with the night's Time's Up anti-harassment theme.

Sadly, Shaq's performance in "Kazaam" did not net him an Oscar.

Awards prediction website Gold Derby had Bryant as the odds-on favourite to win the Oscar for best animated short, but his triumph is unlikely to please everyone.