The Philadelphia Eagles display a Kobe Bryant mural at their team facility.
Many of us have still not fully processed the tragic passing of Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the others on board of the helicopter that went down in Calabasas, California in late January. It feels like eons ago, as the coronavirus began spreading rapidly through the United States of America in mid-March. Months later, we are reminded of how much The Black Mamba has impacted our lives.
Bryant might have been a Laker for life, but he did grow up in Philadelphia. Though his father Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant played overseas in Italy, it is the City of Brotherly Love that Bryant identified himself as his American hometown. The Lower Merion High School standout was a life long Eagles fan. Now, there is a mural of his “10 rules” proudly displayed on a mural at the Eagles’ facility.
The Mamba Mentality will forever be a part of the Philadelphia Eagles culture.
Bryant’s reaction to the Eagles winning Super Bowl 52 over the New England Patriots went viral. This was the Birds’ first Super Bowl victory and their first league championship since “Concrete Charlie” Chuck Bednarik was their star player back in 1964. Bryant may have won five NBA Championships with the Lakers, but he’s what he said about watching his team win a Super Bowl.
“The spirit of the Eagle took ahold of me, and I just could not contain myself,” said Bryant. “When you play, you’re in control of the game. You’re in that moment. You don’t have that nervousness, because you know what the sequences are — you know what the options are. But watching it, you’re just completely helpless. You’re just like, ‘Oh my God.’ You start feeling weird.”
It’s been a strange last six months for all of us. Bryant’s passing sent shockwaves through the sports world. For may basketball fans, he was their Michael Jordan, he was their LeBron James. For cities like Los Angeles and Philadelphia, he was their everything. Fortunately, he left behind his “10 rules”, as well as his Mamba Mentality for us all to derive greatness from within.
Bryant never played for Philadelphia, but his mural is a proud addition to the Eagles’ team facility.