Lakers News: LeBron James Mourns Loss Of Journalist Grant Wahl, Who Died Covering World Cup In Qatar
(Photo by Brendan Moran – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Although the Los Angeles Lakers played a thrilling overtime game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night that resulted in a loss, the minds of many in the sports world were elsewhere.

Earlier in the night, it was announced that journalist Grant Wahl died in Qatar while covering the World Cup.

Wahl’s impact on the sports community was massive as not only was he great at covering soccer but other sports as well for Sports Illustrated.

One of the stories he wrote more than two decades ago was on current Lakers star LeBron James while he was in high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio. The story was teased as “The Chosen One” and it helped introduce the world to James, who has since become one of the greatest basketball players to lace them up.

James and Wahl built a strong relationship while that story was being written, and the Lakers star spoke of the journalist’s death after the loss to the 76ers, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

“First of all, my condolences go out to his family. I saw his brother say something as well. Until we get further details of what transpired [I will not comment further on the nature of his death]. But I’m very fond of Grant and having that cover shoot – me being a teenager and him covering that, it was a pretty cool thing. And he was always pretty cool to be around. He spent a lot of time in my hometown of Akron covering me over the course of my time before that cover story came out. And I’ve always kind of watched from a distance. Even when I moved up in the ranks and became a professional and he kind of went to a different sport and things of that nature over the years, anytime his name would come up I would always think back to me as a teenager and having Grant in our building down at St. V. So, it’s a tragic loss. It’s unfortunate to lose someone as great as he was and I wish his family, like I said, the best. And may he rest in paradise.”

James also took to Twitter himself to mourn the death of Wahl:

According to reports, Wahl grew ill and collapsed during the quarterfinal game between the Netherlands and Argentina on Friday. He previously revealed on a podcast that he thought he was dealing with bronchitis.

Nothing has been confirmed yet, but Grant’s brother Eric is suspecting that foul play was involved due to Grant’s support for the LGBTQ+ community to the World Cup as well as his calling out of the Qatari government over its treatment of migrant workers while building the stadiums.

James comments on Griner’s return from Russia

James has never been one to shy away from social issues going on around the world. In addition to mourning the death of Wahl, LeBron also recently spoke on WNBA star Brittney Griner returning from Russia after 10 months in prison.

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