Spike Lee has become a staple sitting courtside in Madison Square Garden catching the New York Knicks games. He's become a pop culture icon of the NBA and watched many of Kobe Bryant's games in the Big Apple. Since his tragic passing a few weeks back, Lee has littered his Instagram with tributes and messages about the 5-time NBA champion.
On Sunday at the Oscars, Lee honored Bryant even further with his attire. He stepped out onto the red carpet with a purple jacket lined in yellow. On the front was Bryant's "24" jersey number, as well as on the back.
His fashion choice proved to be a big win on social media.
The consensus across social media during the red carpet ceremony was that Lee's gesture was a touching tribute to the iconic basketball player, who, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, lost their lives in a helicopter crash.
Many others put out similar sentiments thanking Lee, who previously directed a documentary about Bryant in 2009 called Kobe: Doing Work.prevnext
Along with the majority that appreciated his tribute, many others wanted to take the time to remind others that life is short.
Spike Lee's tribute to Kobe was very touching. Remember to spend time with your family and friends and make the most of it and make great memories. Learn to forgive and forget— Mitch (@pizzalover4189) February 9, 2020
Since the tragedy, Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, has been struggling to find the words as she deals with the loss of her husband and one of their four daughters. A week after the events, she put out an emotional post in about Gianna.
"My Gianna. God I miss you," Vanessa captioned the emotional post. "I've been so lucky to have woken up to see your gorgeous face and amazing smile for 13 years. Wish it would've been until my last breath. Mommy loves you to the moon and back. Infinity plus 1."prevnext
A Bit Too Much?
While many had no issues with the get-up, there were a few who pointed out that maybe Lee went a little too overboard in his fashion choice. Some felt the look placed more emphasis on him than Bryant because of it being so "bold."
"It's the thought that counts cause that outfit is trash if we're all being honest here," one user wrote on Twitter.
There were a few similar sentiments amid the complements he received. Multiple viewers believed the tribute was more about Lee than Bryant.prevnext
Lee's outfit may have spoken volumes, but he himself was relatively quiet on the red carpet. A few people made annoyed posts, saying he should reasonably expect to discuss an outfit like that if he wore it on TV.prevnext
Spike & Kobe
For those that did not remember, Lee was more than just an admirer of Bryant, he was a friend. In 2008, he filmed a feature-length documentary titled Kobe Doin' Work, which aired on ESPN in 2009. It highlighted Bryant's work ethic and persona on and off the court, and continues to resonate with some to this day.prevnext
Last Year's Tribute
Spike Lee honoring Kobe Bryant in his purple and gold suit with 24 on the lapels. Last year Lee wore an all-purple suit to honor Prince. Let us honor this man for using fashion as it should be used: with meaning #Oscars pic.twitter.com/MsOqgg1n0h— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) February 9, 2020
Seeing Lee's Bryant tribute this year reminded many fans of his red carpet stunt from last year — a suit made to honor the late singer Prince, who passed away in 2019. They praised Lee for being thoughtful and creative.prevnext
Some also noted that Lee's outfit was subtle in some ways. Before Bryant's passing, his colors, shoes and number might not have been as universally recognizable on first glance, but this week they are nothing short of iconic.prevnext
Spike Lee doing it for Kobe💜💛 pic.twitter.com/62WeU76YCS— ً (@Ienscap) February 9, 2020
Many fans were taken about by Lee's outfit, marveling at how far he went to honor Bryant on the red carpet. His outfit was no small tribute, as it was custom made by Gucci for the occasion.prev