Kobe Bryant Appeared As Himself for 1 Episode of ‘Modern Family’

Phil Dunphy loves the thrill of sneaking snacks into basketball games. He also loves the perks that come with visiting a sports arena — the kiss cam, of course, and the possibility of meeting some of his favorite players. 

During season 1 of this Modern Family, basketball legend Kobe Bryant appeared as himself, offering Phil, Alex, and other characters advice.

'Modern Family' cast members and Kobe Bryant backstage during the 'The Wow Factor' episode of ABC's comedy series
‘Modern Family’ cast members and Kobe Bryant backstage during the ‘The Wow Factor’ episode of ABC’s comedy series | Peter “Hopper” Stone/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Kobe Bryant appeared on one episode of ABC’s series, ‘Modern Family’

A few celebrities had cameos on this comedy series, including Millie Bobby Brown, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Billy Dee Williams, and Peyton Manning. For the season 1 finale, Bryant appeared as himself, even talking to a few Modern Family characters. 

During the “Family Portrait” episode of this series, Phil Dunphy took some of the kids to a basketball game. Jay originally planned to attend, but after promising to help Luke with a school project, he sent Gloria to the game. 

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Gloria kissed Phil during the ‘Family Portrait’ episode of ‘Modern Family’ 

Because they were pretty close to the court, Phil, Gloria, Alex, and Manny had a chance to talk to one player before he ran out to play. That was Bryant. After catching his attention, the legend asked what he could do for the family. Phil panicked. 

“Do you like being a basketball player,” Mr. Dupnhy asked. After Bryant asked if this character was serious, Phil said, “I choked, I didn’t think you’d look up here at me.”

“A little preparation next time,” Bryant said. “It’s a mental game.”

This episode also caused some problems for Phil Dunphy. In addition to Gloria kissing him during the kiss cam, he ignored a phone call from Claire, which she saw during the game’s television broadcast. Later that day, the family got together and, despite their petty arguments, took a family portrait

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Some ‘Modern Family’ cast members shared their love for Kobe Bryant

Several years after his appearance on ABC’s Modern Family, Bryant died in a helicopter accident. As a result, some cast members from this comedy series shared their love for the basketball player, even sharing memories of his time on the set. 

“Kobe had come to set and watched us shoot Modern Family,” Stonestreet wrote on Instagram. “He said he woke up and wanted to watch some comedy, so he came and watched us rehearse and shoot scenes.” 

“Later, when he was leaving, I asked him what made him decide to come to watch us. He said, ‘because you guys are the best, and last year, you told me to stop by sometime,’” he continued. “I about lost my marbles.”

Modern Family, including the “Family Portrait” episode, is available for streaming on Hulu.