On top of the underdog Philadelphia Eagles defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, was that they did so with Nick Foles as their starting quarterback. After a Pro Bowl year with the team in 2013, his career seemed to regress.
Foles spent the 2015 season with the then-St. Louis Rams, and was with the Kansas City Chiefs the following year before returning to Philadelphia. Previously a starter, he found himself backing up former No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz.
He helped guide the Eagles to an 11-2 record and eventual No. 1 seed in the NFC before tearing his ACL in a win against the Los Angeles Rams. That created an opportunity for Foles, which he ran and culminated with the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl.
Following their upset of the Patriots, the 29-year-old quarterback spoke openly about his career troubles and overcoming failure. The moment resonated with head coach Luke Walton, who has preached patience to his young Lakers team.
Following a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Walton showed the Lakers a clip of Foles’ speech. “I really enjoyed his postgame interview after the Super Bowl, where he talked about failure and it got him to where he is now,” Walton said.
The timing aligned with the NBA trade deadline, which presented another set of adversity the players faced. Rampant speculation gave way to a trade on Thursday in which the Lakers sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While he was not mentioned as a player the Lakers were willing to trade, Foles’ message resonated with Kyle Kuzma. “It means something to me, for sure. I fought a lot of adversity in my life,” the rookie said.
“Failure, in our society, is frowned upon in a sense. If you fail, people will kind of laugh at you. It’s just how it goes. But failure builds character. It’s a very important stepping stone to being a winner.”
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