Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet Remembered Kobe Bryant's Time On Set Fondly

Fans of ABC's hit series "Modern Family" surely know that the show has gifted viewers its fair share of guest-spot appearances. For example, throughout the eleven seasons, the Dunphy-Pritchett clan has had many hilarious interactions with celebrities such as Elizabeth Banks, Nathan Lane, and Matthew Broderick.

One highly noteworthy appearance came from all the way back in Season 1 when Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) had a one-on-one moment with basketball legend Kobe Bryant. The scene was brief, just a few lines exchanged, but that doesn't mean it wasn't memorable. However, when Eric Stonestreet, who played Cameron Tucker on the show, reflects back on his experience with Bryant, his fond memory stems from the star athlete taking him up on a polite offer.

Shortly after the tragic death of Bryant in 2020, Stonestreet took to Instagram to post a message of condolences, which included a screenshot of a Twitter DM that he had received from Bryant and also wrote about the NBA star's time on set. Stonestreet reflected on the time when Bryant made his brief guest spot appearance and then a future occurrence when Kobe simply showed up to watch the rehearsal of a future episode. "Later when he was leaving, I asked him what made him decide to come to watch us," recalled Stonestreet. "He said, 'because you guys are the best and last year, you told me to stop by sometime.'" Obviously, Stonestreet was shocked Bryant accepted the offer. "I about lost my marbles," he admitted.

Bryant had a certain effect on people he met, even on screen

On January 26, 2020, basketball fans around the world were shocked and deeply saddened upon hearing of the tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of several people, including Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. Naturally, with Bryant's fame and popularity, plenty of public figures took to social media to express love and support for the Lakers star's family and reflect on personal interactions with him. Eric Stonestreet was one such example who posted, and it all traced back to the guest spot Bryant had on "Modern Family," Season 1, Episode 24 ("Family Portrait").

The scene consisted of Phil, Gloria (Sofia Vergara), Alex (Ariel Winter), and Manny (Rico Rodriguez) attending a Lakers game, cheering on the team's captain. The interaction happens when Bryant actually acknowledges Phil's cheering. Along with the rest of his family, Phil is shocked when Bryant responds back to him as the Laker is about to be introduced to the crowd and jump on the court. Bryant looks right at Phil and asks, "What can I do for you?" Stunned that the superstar acknowledged him, Phil blurts out the first thing that comes to his mind: "Do you like being a basketball player?"

Bryant appears confused by the random question. Phil quickly explains, "I choked. I didn't think you would look up at me." Bryant perfectly responds with, "A little preparation next time. It's a mental game." Bryant was back with the cast sometime after the shoot, simply to watch rehearsals. That memory for Eric Stonestreet was as special as plenty of others who look back fondly toward their everlasting moment with Kobe Bryant.