Some time has passed since Kobe Bryant’s death, but that hasn’t made it any easier for those insider the Los Angeles Lakers organization who knew him well.
With the NBA season restart approaching rapidly, Lakers superstar LeBron James spoke on Bryant on Monday, reiterating that the late Hall of Famer is never far from his heart or mind.
“A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about him,” James said Monday. “And a day doesn’t go by when our organization does not remember him and think about not only Kob’, but Gigi, Vanessa and the girls.”
James recently shared an Instagram post that was of himself, Bryant and Kevin Durant.
Frank Vogel on Kobe Bryant: We Honor His Memory
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel shared a similar sentiment.
“He’s still with us,” Vogel said. “We always, even prior to this happening, we wanted to embody what he stood for, and even more so now with what happened. We want to honor his memory.
“I think there is going to be a daily mindset of honoring the work, and having that toughness about us,” Vogel continued. “When we get into the playoffs there will be opportunities and situations where we’ll refresh our mindset of things that he stood for, and what his approach was from a competitive spirt standpoint. Come playoff time that I think will help us in our mission this year.”
LeBron James: We Still Wear 24, 8 and No. 2 With Pride
Bryant passed away on Jan. 26 of this year in a tragic helicopter accident, stunning not only the Lakers organization and the NBA, but the world. It was just part of what has become an unprecedented year that no one could have expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As James pointed out, nothing has been quite normal in 2020 for anybody. But the Lakers are using the memory of Kobe and Gigi to preserve, and it’s still a major point of pride for James and to play in memory of them.
“They’re part of this family. Just as big as anybody in this organization’s history, so we still wear 24 and 8 and No. 2 with pride and remembrance of how great they were.”
On the way to Orlando for the NBA restart, James’ fellow Lakers star Anthony Davis wore a shirt depicting Bryant and his daughter Gianna. It was a touching tribute and reminder that Bryant will be a sixth man on the court for the Lakers as they pursue the franchise’s 17th NBA title.
After Bryant’s passing, Davis posting a touching message on his social media, talking about what the Lakers legend meant to him.
“Man this is a tough one for me!” Davis wrote. “You were the first guy to put me under your wing and show me the ins and outs of the league. Had so many great convos about so many things and I will cherish those moments forever. Love you forever, Bean!”