Kobe Bryant Makes Appearance at U.S. Nationals in Irvine


Retired Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was in the house at the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine, California, Thursday night.

Bryant made an appearance in the Speedo VIP Deck with his daughter, and looked to be a guest of Michael Phelps himself.

Photo courtesy of NBC Sports

Photo Courtesy of Torrey Hart/SwimSwam.com

Phelps’ entire family including mother-in-law Annette Johnson, wife Nicole, and sons Boomer and Beckett was also on-site.

Bryant, 39, played 20 years in the NBA and won five championship titles. He’s a noted swim fan and was on hand at the 2017 Golden Goggles last November to present Katie Ledecky with her Female Athlete of the Year award. He presented it to her alongside Phelps, and during their skit together, Kobe tried to coax Phelps out of retirement. “It [representing the United States] never gets old,” Bryant said to Phelps. “That being said, since it never gets old, would you like just one more time?”

Bryant also mentioned at the time that he got “hooked” on watching swimming in Beijing, and the two reminisced about their experiences at Olympic opening ceremonies. You can watch their full 2017 Golden Goggles experience below:

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I think Zac Efron was in the VIP area as well!

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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