Excerpts and quotes in this article were taken from L.A. Weekly’s ‘Riding the Bench with Evan and Izzy‘ podcast.


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Hardcore Laker fans know that while the late great Kobe Bryant was an Angeleno at heart, a small piece of that heart belonged to Philadelphia as well.

Kobe was a huge Philadelphia Eagles Fan and former Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb shared a touching story about Kobe and the Eagles’ crushing loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl 52.

The future hall of famer was good friends with Kobe and soonafter the Eagles loss, McNabb went to a Laker game and made his way to the team locker room.

“The Lakers rule at that particular time was if your team’s not in the playoffs, you can’t speak. You can’t say anything,” McNabb said on L.A. Weekly’s ‘Riding the Bench’ podcast. “Rick Fox was a New England Patriots fan and obviously Kobe represented us. Rick just started hammering both of us about losing the Super Bowl.”

McNabb went on to talk about both he and Kobe’s passion for coaching their daughters, in a glimpse of the #girldad movement that Bryant made so popular. McNabb’s daughter and Kobe’s daughter were a year apart in age, and competed in similar girls basketball tournaments.

“We were at a tournament here in Phoenix Arizona and we sat and talked for about an hour,” McNabb recalled. “You know, just talking about ways of trying to teach our kids the fundamentals and lead them down a path, and prepare them for the future.”

McNabb said he was watching his daughter play the moment he heard that Kobe, Gianna Bryant and the six other had died in the tragic January 26 helicoper crash.

“It felt like just weeks ago we were sitting in the office talking with out two daughters sitting there listening to our conversations,” McNabb said.

McNabb shared that personal story on the Riding the Bench Podcast, along with his experience dealing with “Black quarterback” stereotypes, his hall of fame chances and the impact of the pandemic on school sports.

For more on this episode, listen in on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

LA Weekly