On Hollywood’s biggest night, the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant’s absence was felt. It’s been about roughly 2 weeks since the tragic Calabasas, California helicopter crash that took the lives of Bryant, his daughter, and 7 other passengers, and the world is still mourning, especially those close to the basketball star.
Sunday night (Feb. 9), iconic director Spike Lee, paid tribute to his friend by rocking a custom Gucci suit. Lee had Kobe’s jersey number “24” embroidered on the back and lapel of the purple and gold custom piece. Lee, who is no stranger to rocking fresh sneakers instead of shoes, completed the look with a pair of Nike Kobe 9 Elite “Strategy” sneakers.
Before Lee walked inside Hollywood’s Dolby Theater, did a red carpet interview E!’s Ryan Seacrest but was clearly still at a loss for words talking about Kobe’s passing. Following the death of the life-long Laker, Lee shared plenty of Kobe tributes on his Instagram account. Lee’s relationship with Bryant is well-known with the filmmaker directing the 2009 documentary Kobe Doin’ Work, which gave us an unprecedented look at a day in the life of Bryant.
Lee wasn’t the only person to pay tribute to future Hall of Famer., after securing the Oscar for best animated short, Hair Love’s director, Mathew Cherry, dedicated his trophy to late superstar stating:
“This award is dedicated to Kobe, may we all have a second act as great as his was.”
Cherry and co-producer Karen Rupert Toliver also used their time to bring awareness to the Crown Act as well.
The Oscars also honored Bryant, who took home an award back in 2018 for his animated short film, Dear Basketball. Kobe was the first person featured during the “in memoriam” segment with his image accompanied by the quote:
“Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going.”