Spike Lee might be a life-long New York Knicks fan, but he showed major love for Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant at Sunday's Academy Awards.
The acclaimed director, who won an Oscar last year for Best Adapted Screenplay for his film, BlacKkKlansman, hit the red carpet at the 2020 awards decked out in custom purple Gucci suit with gold trim -- with Bryant's jersey number, 24, stitched on his lapels, and “Strategy” Nike Kobe 9 Elites sneakers.
Lee shared a pic of his ensemble on Instagram, posing with wife Tonya Lewis before the pair headed to the awards show at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. "Da Lee’s Are In Da House.???," he captioned the shot.
Bryant, who died in a tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of nine victims on Jan. 26, is set to be honored during the "In Memoriam" segment at Sunday's Oscars. In addition to being a five-time NBA champion, 18-time All-Star and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, the Lakers star was also an Academy Award winner, taking home the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film at the 2018 awards show for his film, Dear Basketball, which was adapted from the farewell letter he penned to announce his retirement from the game in November 2015.
Lee has shared nearly 20 Instagram tributes to Bryant in the weeks following his death. The director and athlete may have been antagonistic during Lakers-Knicks games, but they worked together several times off the court, most notably when Lee directed the 2009 documentary Kobe Doin' Work, which followed Bryant throughout one day in the life as one of the most iconic players in the NBA.
"On 2/2/09 Kobe Bryant Scored 61 Points (Then A Madison Square Garden Record) Against The New York Knickerbockers," Lee recalled in one of his social media tributes to the late star. "After The Game We Recorded Kobe’s Commentary For My Film KOBE DOING WORK. Kobe Graciously Signed The Final Stat. It Reads “To Spike, You Are The Best. Kobe 24. P.S. Spike This Sh*t Was Your Fault!!! Kobe 24."