Sylvester Stallone supports the idea of building a Kobe Bryant statue in Philadelphia alongisde the Rocky Balboa statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Bryant never played in Philadelphia, but he was born and raised there. He attended Lower Merian High School before he was drafted by the NBA, and the school held its own tribute to him on Saturday.
TMZ caught up with Stallone, and asked the Rambo star if Bryant should get a statue in the city. "Absolutely," Stallone quickly replied.
Stallone previously paid tribute to Bryant on Twitter, hours after the Lakers legend died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, Jan. 26.
"The world lost a great man and a great champion," Stallone wrote, alongside an old photo of himself with Bryant. "I feel so bad for his family. Breaks my heart. Athlete, writer, innovator, role model."
Following Bryant's death, Philadelphia became the center of several tributes, with many skyscrapers and landmarks like the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Wells Fargo Center being illuminated in purple.
On Saturday, Lower Merion High School, where Bryant graduated from in 1996, became the center of tributes in the area.
Fans started a makeshift memorial outside the Kobe Bryant Gymnasium. On Monday, the tribute was cleared so the students "could return to more of a sense of normalcy upon arriving at school," district spokesperson Amy Buckman told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Buckman said the school will donate many of the basketballs left at the memorial to Police Athletic centers in the city or other community organizations. Sneakers, stuffed animals and other items will be donated to local charities. Unfortunately, some of the signs and cards were destroyed in the rain over the weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, the school held its first basketball games since Bryant's death. Officials showed a tribute reel, including footage from Bryant's playing career with the Lakers. Members of Bryant's extended family still living in the area attended the game, and a framed jersey with Bryant's high school number 33 was unveiled. There was also a 33-second moment of silence.
"It's a community that's been built off his back," David Rosenberg, who played with Bryant in 1996 when the school won the state title, told the Inquirer. "He turned this into a championship team, and so there have always been these wonderful moments in celebrating these wins. It’s going to be different going forward."
Byant spent his entire NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships. He also won two gold medals with Team USA at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.0comments
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan died in the helicopter crash. The MambaOnThree Fund was created to support the victims.
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