CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- At the top of Christian McCaffrey's Twitter page is an image of Bruce Lee in one of his famous poses, ready to strike. Embedded are famous quotes such as: ”I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Yes, the Carolina Panthers running back is a big fan of the actor, martial artist, pop icon and philosopher, who died in 1973 at age 32.
McCaffrey, 24, hasn’t posted any reaction on social media to ESPN’s 30 for 30 “Be Water" documentary on Lee that debuted on Sunday. He wasn’t available to comment on the documentary.
But the NFL’s highest-paid running back at $16 million a year has made no secret about the impact Lee has made on his life, even though Lee died when McCaffrey's father was 4 years old. McCaffrey showed in a 2019 piece on ESPN’s NFL Countdown how his father, former Denver Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, introduced Lee into his life at a young age.
Christian McCaffrey has often shared his love for Lee on social media and elsewhere.
Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is wearing a Bruce Lee t-shirt after rushing for 184 yards, the fourth most in a game in franchise history. His previous career high in rushing was 66 yards last season against the... https://t.co/k9oPrshh5k pic.twitter.com/9JVl8J7Mkc— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) September 23, 2018
“Be Water" remains one of McCaffrey’s favorite quotes. As Lee once explained, “You put water in a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put water in a teacup, it becomes the teacup.
“Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."
McCaffrey explained it in a USA Today story in 2018.
“When you’re running through a hole and you’re hit in certain, different ways, you have to be able to move and change and make people miss. You’ve got to be able to adapt to your environment," he said. "Be like the water making its way through the cracks."