Today’s episode of ESPN’s “E:60” news magazine (4 p.m.) show takes Kobe Bryant back to Philadelphia to find out the Lakers star often gets booed in his former hometown.
Reporter Lisa Salters goes back to Philly with Bryant and as they visit some of his favorite places.
“You can’t really think about any major superstar who has the kind of relationship with his hometown that Kobe Bryant has,” said Salters, also a Philadelphia native. “Their hometowns have a love affair with their superstar athletes, and they are the hometown hero. And it just hasn’t always been the case with Kobe Bryant.
“He considers Philadelphia to be very special. He goes back during the summertime, he has relatives there, he talks fondly, like any athlete would, about their hometown. But when you mention Kobe Bryant’s name, people will either love him, or they will absolutely hate him.
“There are a lot of different factors that go into why – one is just because Philadelphia is Philadelphia. It’s unique in that sense. It’s the city that booed Santa Claus.”
Salters reports that the Philadelphia fans may be starting to be more accepting of Bryant.
“When the Lakers were in Philly earlier this year, there were some chants of ‘MVP, MVP!’ in the crowd. It was the first time I had ever heard it, and Kobe heard it, too.”