The Celtics have a slight edge over the Lakers when it comes to championships, but the Lakers are now officially in the lead when it comes to Academy Awards.
Longtime Celtics nemesis Kobe Bryant captured an Oscar on Sunday, as his piece “Dear Basketball” was named best animated short film. Bryant became the first NBA player to ever claim an Oscar, which many have dubbed his unofficial sixth championship.
Several players around the league — including some Celtics, past and present — offered a heap of praise for the future Hall of Famer.
Paul Pierce, who battled Bryant for years, praised his versatility.
Props to #BlackMamba b-ball titles Oscars what’s next
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) March 5, 2018
Bill Russell has only tweeted 145 times, but he was sure to say how proud he was.
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) March 5, 2018
Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum, who grew up idolizing Bryant, kept it short and sweet.
— Jayson Tatum (@jaytatum0) March 5, 2018
Jaylen Brown, who has often voiced his opinion on social issues, credited Bryant for more than just the award. Brown, in particular, resonated with Bryant’s message for basketball players to continue to do more than “shut up and dribble.”
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) March 5, 2018
C.J. McCollum, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Love, among others, also offered their congratulations.
Kobe got chips, won an Oscar and speak multiple languages fluently ?
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) March 5, 2018
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) March 5, 2018
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) March 5, 2018
Shaq complimented his former teammate, as well.
Congrats to KOBE first Oscar that’s big bro #dearbasketball. Proud of you, Big honor for you and your family. I’m jealous lol
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) March 5, 2018
Will Kyrie Irving be the next NBA star to win an Oscar? We’ll have to wait and find out.