Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James gave a heartfelt speech on Kobe Bryant when the Lakers faced the Trail Blazers on Saturday. Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter Gianna were among the nine victims of a helicopter crash on Sunday. LeBron, who took over the mantle after Kobe retired in 2016, delivered a speech in Lakers’ first game since the tragic incident.
Throughout the day, LeBron James found ways to pay homage to fellow icon and friend Kobe Bryant. James showed up for the game dressed in a Bryant No. 24 shirt. Bryant’s jersey hung next to his locker. James was in tears when the national anthem was played.
Speaking to the crowd at the Staples Center, LeBron James said that he’d be doing injustice to the deceased if he reads out from a piece of paper so he’s going to speak straight from the heart. James said that he knows there will be a memorial for Kobe Bryant soon, but today was about celebrating 20 years of Kobe Bryant’s contribution to the Lakers franchise.
"Tonight we celebrate the kid that came here at 18, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad we've seen over the last three years.” pic.twitter.com/0sS7e91cuz— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 1, 2020
LeBron James’ voice broke at the mention of Kobe Bryant as a father. James spoke of meeting Kobe as a young player. He said that Kobe was like a brother to him. LeBron James closed the speech by remembering Kobe Bryant’s retirement speech which ended with Mamba Out. LeBron said that he’ll always live on and will never be forgotten.