SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Mike Conley can add another trophy to his mantle place — the Utah Jazz guard’s short film “Two Distant Strangers” won an Oscar at Sunday night’s Academy Awards.
Conley served as an executive producer of the film that was released in November of 2020.
The film is about a Black man stuck in a loop, repeatedly killed by the same police officer and trying to figure out how to break the cycle.
The Jazz guard also shares his Executive Producer credit with Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant who helped the film get made.
Earlier in the week, the Jazz gathered in Houston as a team to watch the short together.
“I thought the team and the coaching staff and everybody who was involved really enjoyed the film and being able to get this messaging behind it,” Conley said.
The team watched the Conley produced film the same day Derek Chauvin was convicted for the murder of George Floyd.
“For Mike to share with it us and to give his insight into the film itself, and then have an opportunity to watch it collectively as a team — the movie itself was certainly impactful,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “It was tremendous and in many respects, it was haunting and I would encourage everybody to see it.”
Conley isn’t the first NBA player to win an Oscar. In 2018, Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant earned an Academy Award for “Dear Basketball,” an animated film featuring the poem he wrote to announce his retirement from basketball.