RIP Kobe. There’s no other way to say or describe the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant.
The Philadelphia native — the kid from Lower Merion with the wicked jump shot and winning smile — was killed in a fiery helicopter crash on Sunday morning. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna was reportedly on board.
As millions of loyal fans and fellow athletes tried to make sense of the horrible accident, Bryant’s hometown football team put into words what everyone was thinking. The Philadelphia Eagles called the 41-year-old superstar a “champion for the ages, a fearless competitor, and an outstanding ambassador for the city.”
Bryant was never shy about his allegiance to the Eagles. He proudly wore his Eagles gear and posted an unforgettable moment holding his young daughter following the team’s improbable win in Super Bowl LII.
Remember, the former Lakers star delivered a pep talk to the squad in the 2017 season on Dec. 8 when they were in Los Angeles getting ready to play the Rams in a pivotal late-season game.
His message was simple: details. It’s all in the details. Bryant’s sage advice resonated with the Eagles throughout their Super Bowl run.
Carson Wentz, Eagles Players React to Bryant’s Death
Carson Wentz was one of the first Eagles players to chime in. Obviously, Kobe Bryant had made a lasting impact on the quarterback.
Wentz wasn’t the only one, either. The thoughts and prayers soon came rushing in from up and down the Eagles’ roster.
Tight end Zach Ertz called Bryant his “childhood hero.”
Cornerback Jalen Mills was in disbelief.
Running back Jordan Howard reflected on his impact and sent prayers to Bryant’s family.
Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery posted a photo and captioned it with a snake emoji, a reference to Bryant’s “Black Mamba” alter-ego.
Running back Miles Sanders was speechless and called Bryant a “role model.”
Even Hall-of-Famer Brian Dawkins showered Bryant with love.
Bryant Long Talked about Loving the Hometown Eagles
Kobe Bryant was a diehard Eagles fans and was often seen wearing his No. 5 midnight green jersey.
He visited the NovaCare Complex in previous years to meet Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick. He always had a warm smile and strong words of encouragement.
In 2017, right before his legendary team pep talk, Bryant seemed giddy and nervous. He was excited to meet his football heroes.
“I was on cloud nine,” Bryant said, via Sports Illustrated. “Walk in, see all the green—good green, not that Celtic green. Good-guy green. It felt good to be able to talk to them.”
Later, the five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star shared a hilarious story about the first time he met Nick Foles. The Super Bowl MVP introduced himself and the Ardmore native told Foles: “Fool, I know who you are!” Foles seemed genuinely tickled by Bryant’s nervousness.
Of course, Bryant also gave a fantastic rendition of the Eagles’ famed fight song a few years back. People are still talking about it and probably will be for eternity.