BOSTON (CBS) — It’s not quite as disappointing as watching your team lose the Super Bowl, but seeing a beloved Boston athlete pose with one of the city’s biggest sports enemies is startling nonetheless.
Glenn Gronkowski posted a picture to Twitter on Thursday night of brother Rob Gronkowski and father Gordy Gronkowski posing with Lakers star Kobe Bryant. The Lakers had just defeated the Celtics 88-87 in overtime, with Bryant scoring 27 points.
A picture’s nothing to get too worked up about for Pats fans, but Kobe did admit to a little bit of recruiting work for his hometown Philadelphia Eagles.
“I said the Eagles need a tight end that’s what I told him. I’m recruiting,” a light-hearted Bryant told reporters after the game. “He’s phenomenally talented, just a freak athlete.”
Bryant said the 22-year-0ld Gronkowski was saying a few things himself.
“We were talking. He shot it at me, I shot it back,” he said. “It’s fun to have those conversations with athletes that you respect.”
Another athlete that has earned some of Kobe’s respect is Austin Rivers, the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers who hit a buzzer-beater for Duke to beat UNC on Wednesday night.
“I told him his son’s got some big cojones,” Bryant said of his conversation with Doc.
Other Patriots players in attendance for the C’s-Lakers game were Vince Wilfork and Julian Edelman, both of whom received ovations when shown on the video board. Owner Robert Kraft was also in attendance, and he was seen shaking hands and talking individually with a number of fans during halftime.
Gronkowski’s not the first Patriots player to chum it up with Bryant. During Game 3 of the 2010 NBA Finals, Tom Brady sat with Bryant’s father, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, and offered a little love to Kobe after the Lakers beat the Celtics.