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There are few names in the world as recognizable as Kobe Bryant and this basketball star recently returned to his roots.  

The NBA legend never had what you’d call a great reception from fans in Philly, but that all changed this year.

Philly has had a lot of notable visitors in 2015, including Pope Francis, but this homegrown hero’s welcome when the Lakers played the Sixers back on December 1st may have overshadowed that of the Holy Father. The crowd began to go wild from the second Sixers’ PA announcer Matt Cord introduced the star. Within 30 seconds, Cord had summarised what is, by all accounts, one of the best basketball careers of all time. From the Olympic medals to NBA victories, Cord perfectly summed up Bryant’s 20-year career to a crowd that was already in full swing.

At the end of the intro, the crowd clapped for almost a minute as Bryant stepped onto the court. This standing ovation surprised Bryant, as he came onto the court with his fellow players  and was taken aback by the amount of adoration he received as an opposing player.

The game went to the Sixers in the end, but the Lakers star emphasized that he couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Even Bryant’s high school coach, Gregg Downer was present. Downer, who was at a loss for words when describing his former player, presented Bryant with a Lower Merion High School Jersey.

The faculty at the arena admitted to being star struck when meeting the player up close and personal. Even the pundits with their bets on the game were happy to see Bryant, even though the odds were slim. Sport betting or any other gambling, casino or bingo sites have odds available to peruse before betting and the odds of the Sixers taking this victory were slim to none.

While Bryant hasn’t always had a good relationship with his fans, (which led to him being booed while taking the All Star Game MVP in 2002), the star finally got that hometown reception that he was hoping for and enjoyed his visit to Philadelphia. Philly is known as the City of Brotherly Love, and that’s exactly what Bryant finally felt.

 

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