Spike Lee honors Kobe Bryant with custom tuxedo at 2020 Oscars

Spike Lee is well-known for being a rabid and unrelenting supporter of the Knicks (a tough gig, for sure) but on Sunday in Hollywood, the heralded director was in purple and gold. It was a gesture to honor the memory of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers legend who died in a helicopter crash in January.

Lee wore a custom tuxedo on the red carpet ahead of the Academy Awards on Sunday night and it was an unmistakable tribute to Bryant. The tux featured the Lakers' iconic purple and gold and had one of Bryant's numbers (No. 24) emblazoned on the lapels. The number was also featured on the back of Lee's jacket.

92nd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Getty Images
Getty Images

It may be a clash in allegiances as far as the team goes, but Lee clearly felt compelled to put aside his rooting bias in order to honor one of the best players the game has ever seen. The Oscar-winning director has been a longtime and very vocal fan of basketball, and his 1998 movie "He Got Game" (starring Ray Allen and Denzel Washington) is considered a classic basketball film. 

But basketball isn't the only interest that Lee and Bryant shared, as Kobe was also an Oscar-winner himself. Bryant took home an Academy Award for his 2018 short film titled "Dear Basketball." The Academy plans to honor him in the In Memoriam section of the show on Sunday night.

Bryant was one of nine people who died in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles on January 26. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also killed in the crash. Bryant was 41 years old.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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