The entire world was absolutely devastated by the tragic death of Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers legend had such an impact on people beyond the world of basketball that everyone was affected, but obviously the organization and, particularly LeBron James, felt it more than most.
“A day doesn’t go by where I don’t think about him,” James noted Monday. “And a day doesn’t go by where our organization does not remember him and think about not only Kobe, but Gigi, Vanessa and the other girls.
“They’re a part of this family, just as big as anybody in this organization’s history. We still wear 24, 8 and 2 with pride and in remembrance of how great they were.”
Kobe, Gianna Bryant and seven others were involved in the helicopter accident the morning after James moved into third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James of course surpassed Bryant, and spoke with him that about the accomplishment.
The Lakers pushed through the struggles as a team and even postponed one game as they dealt with the tragedy. The Lakers have always maintained they are a family-run organization and they look at every player as one of their own.
Someone like Bryant, who put in work for 20 years and gave the franchise so much, was such a valued person within the organization and everyone from the top to the bottom was affected by his passing.
But like LeBron said, it’s not just about Kobe, but the rest of his family. Losing two family members in one tragedy is something that is unfathomable to most, but the Bryant family continues to push forward through it, showing an immeasurable amount of strength.
The Lakers have continued to support them as well and Kobe’s former teammate Pau Gasol visiting them shows the bond that continues to exist. There are certainly a number of players and teams who are close, but the way the Lakers operate is different.
The franchise is a family-run organization and the way they have supported and come together in the wake of this tragedy shows just how true it is. LeBron James and the rest of the current Lakers will continue to take pride in remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant, and keeping the rest of the family as part of the team.
JR Smith sees more patience in LeBron James
James is a true leader within the Lakers organization and on the current roster, but at this stage of his career, he has grown in a major way from his earlier days. James may not be quite the athlete he used to be, but he is at a different point in his life and that change is evident to those who has seen him at earlier points.
Newcomer JR Smith was James’ teammate with the Cleveland Cavaliers and even in just the short period of time to where he is now, sees a difference in LeBron as a leader. “I say more than anything he’s more patient now,” Smith said.
“I think when he was younger he had a shorter fuse with things. “He lets things roll off his back pretty easily now; whether it be a good thing or bad thing. It doesn’t change his work ethic, but I think he’s more relatable and easier to get along with.”
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