Following the Los Angeles Lakers’ 122-115 win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, LeBron James discussed Kobe Bryant’s induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet asked James about Bryant’s induction, and the Lakers superstar responded with the following (beginning at the 1:29 mark):
"It's a celebration for another Laker great, and I'm just happy to be a part of his legacy." @KingJames spoke with @LakersReporter about Kobe Bryant's Hall of Fame induction and how his ankle felt in his return to the lineup. pic.twitter.com/8LAgCljUhP
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) May 15, 2021
« It’s a beautiful time for the Lakers, » LeBron said. « Like I said, it’s a celebration for another Laker great, and I’m just happy to be a part of his legacy. »
Bryant will be immortalized as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, along with several other legends, including longtime San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan and former Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett.
Kobe, who was one of the greatest players in NBA history, died last year at age 41 in a helicopter crash. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant. also died in the crash.
James said Kobe and Gianna will be « looking down » and watching the enshrinement ceremony. Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, put the Hall of Fame jacket on their eldest daughter, Natalia Bryant, Friday during the Tip-Off Celebration and Awards Gala:
Natalia Bryant put on the Hall of Fame jacket to honor her dad, Kobe 🙏
(via @Hoophall) pic.twitter.com/iIVbYxtRyR
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 15, 2021
LeBron also credited Bryant by saying he « set the tone for this organization for 20 years. »
During Kobe’s two decades with the Lakers, he achieved some special accomplishments, including winning five NBA championships.
Bryant was also an 18-time All-Star, two-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time NBA scoring champion and one-time NBA MVP.
For his career, Kobe averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game over 1,346 contests, all of which were played in purple and gold.
With 33,643 career points, Bryant sits fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and LeBron.
James has followed in Bryant’s footsteps, as he helped lead the Lakers to a championship last season, and is looking to repeat this season, which is something Kobe managed to do three times in his career.