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LeBron James and Lakers’ Remembrance of Kobe Bryant Detailed in Report

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Kobe Bryant remembered

As the Los Angeles Lakers continue to mourn the death of Kobe Bryant, the entire organization convened Tuesday for a luncheon that served as a grieving and remembrance session at their headquarters in El Segundo.

Per The Athletic’s Bill Oram, a number of Lakers players and executives shared stories about their history with Bryant.

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Oram reported LeBron James was the first person to speak, talking “for more than 10 minutes” about playing against Bryant in the NBA and having him as a teammate on the United States Olympic team.

After James finished those stories, multiple sources told Oram the four-time MVP’s final message to the Lakers was “God gave me wide shoulders for a reason,” which according to Oram was to let them know he’s prepared to “handle the burden of playing through grief in pursuit of the Lakers’ 17th championship.”

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Oram noted senior basketball adviser Kurt Rambis; assistant coaches Lionel Hollins, Phil Handy, Miles Simon and Mike Penberthy; and Dwight Howard were among the other people who spoke during the lunch gathering.

Sources also told Oram there was a mix of tears and laughter “as the stories about Bryant flowed and the Lakers began the seemingly monumental undertaking of moving forward.”

The Lakers were scheduled to play the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center on Tuesday night, but the NBA announced Monday the game had been postponed “out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday.”

No other games were postponed in the aftermath of Bryant’s death, though teams and players around the league have paid their respects to him in different ways.

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Many teams have taken a 24-second shot clock violation and eight-second backcourt violation at the start of games in honor of Bryant’s No. 8 and 24 jerseys he wore during his 20-year career with the Lakers.

Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks wore No. 8 during Sunday’s game against the Washington Wizards, and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers wore No. 24 during Tuesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors as a tribute to Bryant.

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A number of players around the league have already given up wearing No. 8 or No. 24 to unofficially retire Bryant’s jerseys. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Wednesday that Lakers guard Quinn Cook is going to switch his jersey from No. 2 to 28 to honor 13-year-old Gianna and Kobe, combining Gianna’s No. 2 jersey with Kobe’s No. 8.
The Lakers’ next scheduled game is Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center.

LeBron James’ Son Honors Kobe Bryant at High School Basketball Game

Bronny James

LeBron James’ son, Bronny James, paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant at a high school basketball game on Tuesday.

According to a video shared by SportsCenter, the 15-year-old athlete’s team, Sierra Canyon, took an eight-second shot clock violation. The opposing team, Campbell Hall, took a 24-second violation, as well. Both were nods to the Lakers legend’s jersey numbers.

In addition, many of the players wore Kobe shirts.

LeBron cheered on his son in the stands. He even rose to his feet after his son dunked on an alley-oop. As ESPN’s video showed, the father-son duo shared a sweet moment after the game.

Lesbron James and Kobe Bryant

LeBron recently paid tribute to Kobe on social media, noting he was “heartbroken and devastated” by the news of the fatal helicopter crash.

“Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids,” LeBron wrote, citing Kobe’s wife and children. “I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation and it’s my responsibility to put this s–t on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life#Gigi4Life.”

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