The last few days have undoubtedly been very emotional for Los Angeles Lakers fans and members of the organization. Sunday was the late great Kobe Bryant’s birthday. Monday, August 24th, was “Kobe Day” named after the legendary Laker because of the two jersey numbers he wore over the course of his 20-year career in purple and gold.
The Lakers also happened to play a basketball game on Monday, beating the Portland Trail Blazers in blowout fashion and taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the first round series. After the game, LeBron James had some candid words about what it meant to play on that day and honor Kobe with a big playoff win:
LeBron's full comments on getting to play on Kobe Day. pic.twitter.com/vudrk0Xlxb
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) August 25, 2020
Among current Lakers, no one has a closer connection to Bryant than LeBron, a former Team USA teammate and someone who was concurrently a rival and a friend to the Lakers great. Obviously, there’s no way of knowing exactly what was going through his head on Monday, but watching James dominate and make his mark on the game felt eerily similar to playoff games where Kobe smelled blood in the water and went for the opppnents’ neck.
At the end of the day, all these tributes and quotes about Kobe’s influence are great. But there’s no better way to honor his legacy than getting a statement win over a longtime rival when the stakes are at theor highest.