Kobe Bryant was honored in a major way at the 2016 ESPYs when he received the Icon Award for his impressive NBA career. And while the athlete obviously has killer moves on the court, it turns out he also has some comedic skills as he had the audience in stitches during his speech!
The 2016 ESPYs, which took place on July 13, were filled with memorable moments — viewers laughed, they cried, and fans even found out that former basketball star, Kobe Bryant, 37, has QUITE a funny bone! As the Black Mamba accepted his prestigious Icon Award, he kept things light and surprised us all with his humorous side — and fans totally ate it up! But of course the athlete ALSO delivered an inspiring speech that earned a standing ovation — watch the whole thing below!
Justin Timberlake, 35, presented the Icon Award this year — which was given to a total of three retiring athletes: Kobe, Peyton Manning, 40, and Abby Wambach, 36. All three recipients took the stage together, each getting a chance to say a few words. Kobe, who spoke last, took the opportunity to inject some comedy into the segment — and it totally worked!
“Abby decided to retire after a compelling World Cup victory,” Kobe said. “And Peyton hung up his cleats after another Super Bowl win … I felt an impressive 17-65 season would be a bold statement to wrap up my 20-year career!” And cue eruptions of laughter throughout the audience! We love a guy who can poke a little fun at himself.
But let’s be real, Kobe was SO deserving of the Icon Award. After all, he is arguably the best athlete to ever play basketball. And a quick look at his career stats will explain why he was chosen for this prestigious honor. For those who need a refresher, Kobe is a 5-time NBA Champion, 2-time NBA Finals MVP, NBA League MVP, and he was in the All-Star game a whopping 18-times — four of those times he was the MVP. Talk about impressive!
Later in his speech, the NBA superstar cracked yet another joke when he recited a quote his high school English teacher would say — “Yes, I actually paid attention one day in class,” he laughed. Pretty funny, right? But of course Kobe’s speech had a serious side too. “We are up here cause of our dreams. We were never satisfied and will never be finished. Thank you for this honor but I am not done yet,” he said. We cannot wait to see what Kobe takes on next!
What did you think of Kobe’s ESPYs speech, HollywoodLifers? Are you looking forward to his next project?