Lakers Rumors: LeBron James Focused On Winning 17th Championship After Kobe Bryant’s Death
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Los Angeles Lakers game was postponed against the Los Angeles Clippers, the team gathered their players and coaching staff at the UCLA Health Training Center for the first time since Kobe Bryant‘s death.

As the NBA has honored Bryant by committing 24 and/or eight second shot clock violations and players have started to change their numbers, the Lakers are still processing this tragedy that claimed the lives of nine people.

Led by general manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Frank Vogel, the Lakers shared their favorite memories and LeBron James was the first to speak.

James reportedly spoke about their battles and becoming teammates in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic:

For more than 10 minutes, Lakers players, staff members and executives, including owner Jeanie Buss, sat rapt as James shared stories from his battles with Bryant as opponents and their time as teammates in a pair of Olympics. The group was gathered in an event suite overlooking the team’s practice court, directly across the gym from where the Lakers championship trophies could be seen in Buss’ office window.

While it will be difficult to move forward, James was focused on winning the 2020 NBA Finals, which would be their first since Bryant’s 2009-10 team:

When James redirected his focus to what lies ahead for the grieving franchise, James said he could handle the burden of playing through grief in pursuit of the Lakers’ 17th championship.

“God gave me wide shoulders for a reason,” James said, according to multiple people who were present.

Amid the sadness, there is a sense of responsibility to continue the ‘Mamba Mentality.’ While Bryant demonstrated it on the basketball court for 20 seasons, fans have applied parts — if not all — of it to their own lives.

With the Lakers preparing for the Portland Trail Blazers, the hope is they will use this to come together and win it all for Bryant. And as the team’s current leader, James is determined to honor Bryant the best way he can now.

You May Also Like

Luke Walton, D’Angelo Russell Not Worried About Brandon Ingram’s Shooting Struggles

While there has been plenty for Los Angeles Lakers fans to get excited about through the first two preseason games, one player who has struggled both nights is second overall pick Brandon Ingram…

Gasol’s Poor Performance Impacts the Lakers and His Future with L.A.

The vast majority of Laker fans and the basketball community have praised…

Lakers News: Jeanie Buss ‘Could Count On’ David Stern’s Guidance And Advice

The basketball world was rocked by the news of NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern passing away at the age of 77…

Lakers News: LeBron James Responds To Receiving No Best Player Votes In NBA Executive Poll

Ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James began using #WashedKing…