Anybody who’s seen the video of Kobe Bryant celebrating the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship knows how much he loved his hometown football team.
The Eagles joined the rest of the sports world Sunday in mourning Bryant’s death in a California helicopter crash:
The Eagles are shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. He was a champion for the ages, a fearless competitor, and an outstanding ambassador for the city. Our hearts go out to all of today’s victims and their families.
The Eagles and Bryant had a very close relationship. Bryant spoke to the team in December of 2017 while the Eagles spent a week in the Los Angeles area between West Coast games against the Seahawks and Rams, and he was often seen wearing Eagles jerseys and other gear.
Several Eagles players took to Twitter to express their grief, including Zach Ertz, who tweeted out a photo of a signed jersey Bryant gave him.
Sidney Jones tweeted out a photo of himself with Bryant.
MY FAVORITE ATHLETE EVER MAN..MY INSPIRATION!!!
I AM SICK RIGHT NOW!!! I CANT EVEN EXPRESS IT...SO HEARTBROKEN 😭 😭😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/U637drXTjl— Sidney Jones IV (@SidneyJonesIV) January 26, 2020
Jordan Howard wrote about the impact Bryant had during his 41 years.
The impact you had on many lives can never be measured. RIP Black Mamba🐍24/8. Prayers for your family and the families of the others who lost their lives as well. pic.twitter.com/QI8WYke6a5— Jordan Howard (@JHowardx34) January 26, 2020
Lane Johnson offered his thoughts.
From your love of your hometown of Philly to your competitiveness in everything to your legendary career to your Mamba Mentality to the speech you gave our team to how you were the definition of a true leader & man... RIP to a Legend, @kobebryant. 🐍 #MambaForever— Lane Johnson (@LaneJohnson65) January 26, 2020
And former Eagle Jordan Matthews posted a video with Bryant congratulating his wife on the birth of their son.