Kobe Bryant has done some really dumb things in his life. He’s angered his family by marrying a high schooler, he went to war against one of the most loveable NBA players of all time, he was accused of rape and he’s admitted to infidelity.
But for Philadelphians, our estranged native-son Bryant committed his greatest sin during Game 2 of the NLCS Friday night: He said he was a Mets fan.
The Philadelphia-born L.A. Lakers guard showed up in the middle of the fourth inning at Dodgers stadium wearing a Dodgers hat and a shirt with his own picture on it (really?). He sat with owner Frank McCourt and former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, and caused such a buzz that TBS reporter Craig Sager had to go over and ask him the question: Hometown Phillies or now-town Dodgers?
The Phillies aren’t an issue, said Bryant. He grew up a Mets fan.
Now, nobody expected the guy to claim allegiance to the Phillies now. He’s been in L.A. for 14 years, and fidelity isn’t exactly one of his strengths. Sager’s question actually seemed pointless, as Bryant was wearing a Dodgers hat and hobnobbing with their greats.
But for the son of 76ers Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant to say he grew up in Philadelphia and rooted for the New York Mets, well, that’s just blasphemy. That’s no different that growing up a Yankee fan in Boston.
Then again, maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise. His parents named him after Japanese beef. (It’s true.) How could we expect him to be anything other than a meathead?
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