Sylvester Stallone is beloved in Philadelphia. Hundreds of people climb the famed Rocky steps daily in his adopted city.
Stallone, who lives in Hollywood these days, turned the Rocky Balboa character into a global icon and helped establish Philly as a true underdog town. In 1982, he commissioned a bronze two-ton, 10-foot tall statue of the fictional boxer to be erected at the Philadelphia Museum of Art during the filming of the movie Rocky III.
The statue played a central role in the third installment of the Rocky movie series. Today, it stands at the bottom of the Rocky steps, in the northeast corner where tourists from all over the world line up and pose for pictures.
On Friday night, Stallone told TMZ Sports that Kobe Bryant should have a similar likeness cast in bronze and put on display at the Rocky steps. Bryant, of course, is a Philadelphia native who was killed tragically in a helicopter crash last weekend.
“Absolutely,” Stallone said when asked if Bryant should have a statue at the Art Museum.
The 73-year-old actor made headlines in April 2018 when he visited the Rocky statue for a brief press opportunity in Philadelphia while he was filming the movie Creed II. In typical Stallone fashion, he made sure to gush about the City of Brotherly Love.
“It’s like I never left here,” Stallone said, via The Inquirer. “I am Philly, Philly is me. My life began here, you know?”
Rocky Remembered Kobe in Emotional Instagram Post
Earlier this week, Sylvester Stallone shared an emotional Instagram post dedicated to fallen basketball star Kobe Bryant.
The celebrity actor has been spotted at Lakers games over the years cheering on Bryant at Staples Center. He wrote a fitting tribute to the Lakers legend by saying: The world lost a great man and a great champion. I feel so bad for his family. Breaks my heart. Athlete, writer, innovator, role model, #OneOfAKind.
When the Lakers signed LeBron James in 2018, Stallone gave an off-the-cuff interview with TMZ Sports where he joked about which player should get the last table at a Los Angeles restaurant. Refusing to pick his favorite between the two guys, Stallone said: “Don’t you have to be courteous to the new guy in town?”
Stallone Considers Himself Diehard Eagles Fan
Sylvester Stallone famously predicted the Eagles would win “by knockout” over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. He was right as the Birds flew to a 41-33 victory. “Yo Eagles, keep punching” was his rallying cry throughout the team’s Super Bowl run. He has been a constant supporter of the Philadelphia Eagles, even showing up at the home opener in 2003 to help christen Lincoln Financial Field.
He has often confessed his allegiance to the Eagles, tracing his fandom back to the age of 15 when running back Timmy Brown caught his attention. Known as the greatest all-purpose back of his time, Brown accumulated 3,703 rushing yards and 3,346 receiving yards in his eight seasons wearing Eagles green.
Stallone spoke with the Los Angeles Times in 2018 to pull back the curtain on his love affair with the Eagles.
“What Rocky has represented to the city is really extraordinary, but also kind of understandable,” Stallone told Sam Farmer. “Philadelphia has always been an underdog city. It started out at the top of the food chain; at one point, it was the capital of the United States. Then that went out the window. Then they were the No. 1 seaport in the United States. Then that went out the window. Then, the jokes started.”
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