Director Spike Lee pays tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on the Oscars red carpet

Kate Mendonca
Shopping Editor

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Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images.

While film and fashion have always gone hand in hand, tonight’s red carpet at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards is proving that there’s also plenty of room for sport too.

Following the tragic death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other victims on Jan. 26, Oscar presenter Spike Lee chose to honour the late star with a touching fashion display as he walked the red carpet.

Dressed in a purple and gold suit to honour Bryant’s time playing for the L.A. Lakers, Lee’s suit was also embellished with the number 24, an homage to the athlete’s number on the court. Rather than a traditional pair of dress shoes, Lee completed the look with a pair of basketball-ready orange Nike sneakers.

“Tribute. Honour. Homage,” Lee shared when asked why he chose to wear Bryan’t numbers. “We all miss him.”

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images.

Lee and Bryant’s relationship goes back over a decade, making the red carpet moment even more poignant. The Oscar-winning director and major basketball fan released the film “Kobe: Doin’ Work,” in 2009, which focused on Kobe Bryant during one day of the 2007–08 Los Angeles Lakers season.

In what will no doubt be the first of many touching tributes tonight, Lee’s sartorial choice was a sweet way to remember the multi-talented Bryant.

The first professional athlete to do so, Bryant himself won an Academy Award in 2018 when his film "Dear Basketball" won Best Animated Short Film at the Oscars. We can likely expect a special tribute from the Academy as well.

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