‘Hair Love’ Director Matthew Cherry Dedicated His Best Animated Short Oscar Win To Kobe Bryant

Two weeks after Kobe Bryant’s untimely death, the Oscars took time out to remember his loss on Sunday. That included a special mention of Bryant by the man who won an Academy Award in the same category Bryant himself won.

Matthew Cherry wrote and directed Hair Love, a seven-minute animated short film about doing his daughter’s hair for the first time. The former NFL player knows how athletes can make an impact off the field, which is certainly why he used part of his Oscar speech to pay special tribute to Kobe Bryant.

Cherry’s Hair Love won the Oscar for best animated short film on Sunday, in the same category that Bryant won in in 2018. On Sunday night and with the Oscar in his hand, Cherry mentioned Bryant and dedicated the award to the Lakers legend who died in a helicopter crash in late January.

“This award is dedicated to Kobe Bryant,” Cherry said. “May we all have a second act as great as his was.”

Tragically that second act, though prolific, was cut far too short. But it’s a nice message to deliver, especially in a speech that follows his win of the same award. There were reminders of Bryant all over the Oscars, just like there will be at All-Star weekend in Chicago and in so many more places as the world continues to remember his impact.