LeBron James posted a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on Instagram.
Between the franchise mourning the death of Kobe Bryant in late January, to the coronavirus pandemic halting the season for four months, to George Floyd’s murder and a racial reckoning in America that the NBA found itself at the forefront of, LeBron James and company showed incredible resilience and mental fortitude to overcome all the real-life adversity and emerge as champions.
As such, the Lakers’ ring ceremony Tuesday night in their season opener against the LA Clippers was an incredibly emotional affair, especially with each players’ family and friends virtually presenting them with their rings. Although the Lakers lost their opener, nothing can take away the thrill of being presented with a championship ring, and LeBron paid tribute to an all-time Lakers legend on Instagram after the fact.
“What I felt last night when I grabbed that ring from the case,” he wrote in the caption. “Love and miss you my brother!!!! #Mamba4Life.”
LeBron James’ tribute to Kobe Bryant was heartwarming
While many of the unnecessary Kobe Bryant Photoshops have felt overdone, this one came from the heart, speaking to the bond between two all-time NBA greats. While it’s unfortunate these two never met in a Finals series, there was always that off-court and on-court bond between the King and the Black Mamba. Once LeBron joined the Lakers, part of living up to playing for this preeminent franchise was winning championships just as Kobe had done.
Now, with LeBron receiving his first ring as a member of the Lakers, it’s heartwarming to see that the late Kobe and his legacy are still prominent in his mind. James has nothing to prove to anyone at this point in his career, but this gesture shows that he understands Lakers lore, respects Bryant’s legacy in LA and above all, misses his friend.