LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant is a winner in retirement, too.
The former Los Angeles Lakers star won an Oscar in the animated short category for ”Dear Basketball,” a poem he wrote after ending his 20-year career on the court in 2016.
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He’ll add it to an already jammed trophy collection that includes five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals, NBA Finals most valuable player awards, a league MVP award and four All-Star game MVP awards.
Backstage, Bryant looked lovingly at the statue cradled in his hands and mouthed, ”My God.”
”I feel better than winning championships,” he said, a smile never leaving his face. ”This is crazy, man, it’s crazy.”
As executive producer of the six-minute film, Bryant accepted his golden Oscar statue from ”Star Wars” star Mark Hamill on Sunday night. He shared the award with Disney animator Glen Keane.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Shaquem Griffin did 20 reps on the bench press with a prosthetic left hand in what was by far the best feel-good story of the NFL combine.
”My goal was six,” acknowledged Griffin, who almost doubled his previous high of 11 reps and surpassed the 17 his twin brother, Shaquille, managed at last year’s combine before the Seattle Seahawks selected the speedy cornerback in the third round.
Griffin is expected to be a mid-rounder like his brother.
”This is a legitimate football player,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. ”He’s an energy giver.”
One who, conversely, fed off the hoots and hollers during his bench press.
”Everybody in the stands was hyping me up. I got the guys I’m here with hyping me up. It felt amazing,” Griffin said.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Police were searching for suspended Oakland Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith, who authorities said Sunday is suspected of domestic violence.
Someone called 911 to report a domestic violence incident at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, a San Francisco police spokesman said. He added Smith fled the San Francisco home before officers arrived.
Sgt. Michael Andraychak said the victim’s injuries were not life-threatening. Andraychak said investigators are asking for the public’s help finding him.
The troubled linebacker has been arrested several times on charges of drunken driving, vandalism and illegal possession of assault rifles among other charges since the San Francisco 49ers drafted him in 2011 in the first round. The 49ers released him 2015 after he was arrested and charged with his third drunken driving in four years.
The Raiders signed him in 2015 and he played nine games for them until the NFL suspended him for substance abuse violations. The 28-year-old’s application to the NFL commissioner for reinstatement was initially denied in 2016 and is still pending.
LONDON (AP) – A report published by British legislators has accused IAAF President Sebastian Coe of misleading a parliamentary inquiry into doping.
The digital, culture, media and sports committee’s report was critical of Coe’s responses to questions regarding how much he knew about doping within track and field before the problems were revealed by investigative journalists and whistle-blowers.
The committee suggested Coe could have acted sooner to clean up the sport while he served as vice president of the international track and field federation until 2015, when he won an election to succeed Lamine Diack as president.
Coe appeared before the committee in December 2015.
LONDON (AP) – Bradley Wiggins used a banned powerful corticosteroid to enhance his performance while preparing to win the Tour de France in 2012, a British parliamentary committee said in a doping investigation report that accuses Team Sky of crossing an ”ethical line” after preaching zero tolerance.
The legislators said they received evidence that shows Team Sky sought a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for Wiggins to take triamcinolone ”not to treat medical need” – asthma – ”but to improve his power to weight ratio.”
In a statement, Wiggins denied ”any drug was used without medical need.” Team Sky defended its reputation in a statement criticizing ”the anonymous and potentially malicious claim” by members of parliament.
But the report from a committee established in 2015 to investigate doping casts doubt on the team’s use of medication and failure to keep accurate medical records.
TRACK AND FIELD
LONDON (AP) – Roger Bannister, the first runner to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile, has died. He was 88.
Bannister’s family said in a statement that he died peacefully on Saturday in Oxford.
On a windy late afternoon in Oxford on May 6, 1954, Bannister ran four laps on a cinder track in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds to crack the mythical 4-minute mile – a feat many had thought humanly impossible.
A few months later in 1954, Bannister beat Australian rival John Landy in the ”Miracle Mile” or ”Mile of the Century” at the Empire Games in Vancouver, British Columbia as both men ran under 4 minutes.
Bannister then gave up running to pursue a long and distinguished medical career.