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Dwyane Wade Says Kobe Bryant's Oscar Win Inspired Him: 'You Have to See Someone do Something'

Wade, 42, reflected on the legacy of the late basketball legend on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' Friday

<p>Stephen Dunn/Getty </p> Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant

Stephen Dunn/Getty

Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant

Dwyane Wade is sharing how Kobe Bryant has inspired him beyond the basketball court.

During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Friday, Wade, 42, discussed the impact Bryant’s 2018 Oscar win for the animated short film Dear Basketball had on him as he reflected on the late NBA legend’s legacy outside of the sport.

When asked by host Jimmy Fallon if he thought he'd see basketball players win an Academy Award, Wade responded, “No I didn't even know it was something … once again you have to see someone do something.”

“I remember when Kobe won his Oscar,” he continued. “It showed me and it told me if you get behind something you’re really passionate about, that people can feel your heartbeat through it, then great things can happen obviously you know through their basketball.”

Related: Vanessa Bryant Remembers Husband Kobe and Daughter Gianna on 4th Anniversary of Deaths

Speaking further about the win, Wade said, “When he won that, as a guy who just retired, I was sitting there knowing that my time was coming, I was like, ‘Well I guess I gotta go win an Oscar now!”

“I mean, I’m trying not to get left too far behind in all the accolades, the championships, the gold medals,” the ex-Miami Heat player added. “ … so please voters let’s do it!” he urged the camera.

Wade executive produced the 2023 documentary The Barber Of Little Rock, which has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Short category. The film looks at America's widening wealth gap and follows the story of a barber based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The NBA star's recollection of Bryant’s Oscar win comes on the fourth anniversary of the Los Angeles Lakers star’s untimely death in a helicopter crash.

<p>Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty </p> Wade spoke about Bryant's impact on him on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'

Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty

Wade spoke about Bryant's impact on him on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'

Related: Dwyane Wade Celebrates His Birthday with Help from Wife Gabrielle Union and Daughter Kaavia: 'Year 42'

Bryant was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, 13, shared with wife Vanessa Bryant, on Jan. 26, 2020. He is survived by Vanessa, 41, and and their daughters Natalia, 21, Bianka, 7, and Capri, 4.

In 2018, Bryant took home the Academy Award for Best Animated Short for Dear Basketball, which he narrated, based on a poem he wrote of the same name for The Players' Tribune where he announced his retirement from basketball in November 2015.

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Speaking after his win Bryant told reporters at the time, “I feel better than winning the championship, I swear. Growing up as a kid, I dreamt of winning championships and worked really hard. But then to have something like this come out of left field.”

"I heard a lot of people tell me, ‘What are you going to do when you retire?’ I want to be a writer and a storyteller," the late sports star explained. "I got a lot of, ‘That’s cute.’ I got that a lot. To be here right now and have a sense of validation, this is crazy.”

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