Lakers Video: Debbie Allen Thanks Kobe Bryant During Emmy Award Acceptance Speech
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Following his two-decade stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant managed to transcend the sport with his success in business and cinema.

Bryant put the finishing touches on his legacy in basketball with five NBA Championships, two Finals MVPs, a league MVP and 18 All-Star appearances. His presence remains as prevalent as ever from the ‘Mamba Mentality’ he left behind to the shoes worn on most players’ feet.

Bryant famously went on to win an Oscar in 2018 for Best Animated Short for “Dear Basketball,” which was based on his retirement letter from basketball. He continues to be honored by those he impacted after Debbie Allen shared a heartfelt thanks for Kobe and the role he played in helping her accept the prestigious Governors Award at the 2021 Emmys ceremony:

Allen’s speech was one filled with both praise for those that have supported her and empowerment for the women from Texas to Afghanistan. Despite her aim to uplift women around the world, she did not forget to thank an old friend.

The way Allen said Bryant’s name, it is safe to say that he held a special place in her heart. As the wife of former Lakers guard Norm Nixon, she had gotten acquainted with him as a new dance pupil before he even emerged as a superstar in L.A.

Natalia Bryant striving to win an Oscar like her father

Kobe’s passion for the game was inherited by his daughter, Gianna. However, his love for filmmaking has since been passed on to his oldest daughter, Natalia.

She revealed that she is inspired by her father to pursue a career in filmmaking and hopes to someday follow in his footsteps by winning an Oscar of her own.

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