Spike Lee kicked the tributes off when he showed up to the red carpet in a Gucci suit honoring the late basketball legend. The director, 62, rocked Los Angeles Lakers colors with a purple ensemble featuring yellow trim, as well as Bryant’s jersey number on his lapel and back.
The Georgia native paired the suit with purple glasses, a matching hat and orange Nike Kobe 9 Elite Strategy basketball shoes.
During Sunday’s show, former professional football player Matthew Cherry received an Oscar for “Hair Love,” an animated short film he wrote, produced and co-directed. “This award is dedicated to Kobe Bryant,” the athlete, 38, said onstage. “May we all have a second act as great as his was.”
Bryant took home the same award in 2018 for “Dear Basketball,” a short film was based on a poem that the Philadelphia native wrote to announce his NBA retirement. During his acceptance speech, the Olympian gushed, “To my wife, Vanessa [Bryant]; our daughters, Natalia, Gianna, and Bianka; ti amo con tutto il cuore. You are my inspiration. Thank you so much.” (The Italian translates to “I love you with all my heart.”)
The Mamba Mentality author and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, lost their lives last month in a helicopter crash, alongside seven other victims. The father-daughter pair are survived by Vanessa, 37, and daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.
Kobe’s wife shared a sweet video of their youngest on Saturday, February 8, as the little one learned how to stand. “My Koko Bean,” the California native captioned the Instagram clip. “She looks just like my Gigi.”
In the footage, the former model said from behind the camera: “Do this again. Try it again, mama. Woo! Good job, Koko. Good girl, mamacita. Good girl, sunshine. I love you.”