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Debbie Allen thanks Kobe Bryant during Emmy acceptance speech

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

Bryant put the finishing touches on his basketball heritage with five NBA Championships, two Finals MVPs, one League MVP and 18 All-Star appearances. His presence remains as widespread as ever, from the “Mamba mentality” he left on the shoes worn on the feet of most players.

Bryant won an Oscar in 2018 for Best Animated Short for “Dear Basketball,” based on his retirement letter from basketball. He continues to be honored by those he touched after Debbie Allen heartily thanked Kobe and the role he played in helping him accept the prestigious Governors’ Awards at the 2021 Emmys:

Allen’s speech was filled with both praise for those who supported her and empowerment for women from Texas to Afghanistan. Despite her goal of raising women around the world, she didn’t forget to thank an old friend.

From the way Allen pronounced Bryant’s name, it’s safe to say he held a special place in his heart. As the wife of former Lakers goalie Norm Nixon, she had met him as a new dance student even before he became a superstar in LA.

Natalia Bryant strives to win an Oscar like her father

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

She revealed that she was inspired by her father to pursue a career in film and one day hopes to follow in his footsteps by winning her own Oscar.

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