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Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr. won an Oscar as producers of a live-action short honored at the Academy Awards.
He won again on Sunday night during the 93rd Academy Awards.
Durant and Jazz guard Mike Conley Jr. picked up an Oscar as executive producers of the live-action short “Two Distant Strangers.”
The half-hour film uses a time loop like the one in the Bill Murray classic Groundhog’s Day to explore police violence against black men. The main character, played by Joey Bada$$, relives an encounter with an officer, which always ends in his death.
Kevin Durant and Mike Conley Jr. bought into “Two Distant Strangers”
In January, Conley posted the trailer for the film on Instagram, calling it “a powerful story that touches on the experiences we faced as the African-American community this summer.”
“This film creates opportunity to start more meaningful conversations, create change, and continue involvement in these issues,” Conley continued.
“From the minute we saw the script for this project, we knew it had the potential to be very powerful and we wanted to be involved,” Durant told SLAM magazine.
Both players screened it for their teams.
“I think everyone came away with the same feeling that I did that the film is telling a really important story about the Black experience, but in a way that is real and raw and not at all preachy,” Durant said.
Many athletes have used their platform to address difficult issues in American society, but this is a unique way for two NBA stars to make a statement. Being rewarded for it with a statue certainly means a lot, but impacting the conversation is bigger.
Durant and Conley are now in rare company as professional athletes with an Academy Award to their name. Kobe Bryant won one for “Dear Basketball” in 2018.