Video: LeBron James pays ultimate respect to Kobe Bryant ahead of Hall of Fame induction

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

Prior to Kobe Bryant’s official induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James paid tribute to the late icon.

“Well, it’s a celebration of greats, and you just named three of them,” James said. “One of them happened to be a brother of ours with the Laker organization. Someone who set the tone for this organization for 20 years.

“It’s an unbelievable time for himself, looking down on all the accomplishments he had, for his wife and his daughters, and for his daughter who’s up there, gonna be watching alongside Kobe when they watch the enshrinement. So, it was a beautiful thing to see Vanessa [Bryant] put the jacket on his daughter, on his eldest, yesterday. A beautiful thing, and it’s a beautiful time for the Lakers. It’s like I said, it’s a celebration for another Laker great and just happy to be part of his legacy.”

Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were two of the nine people killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 of last year, a shocking loss to the NBA and the global basketball scene.

Just a few months after that tragedy, Kobe Bryant was elected to the Hall of Fame, but the scheduled induction last August was postponed because of the continuing global pandemic.

Bryant’s election to the Hall had been expected the moment he retired in 2016 after playing all 20 of his seasons with the Lakers.

James was one of the Lakers most affected by Kobe Bryant’s loss, since he had passed the team icon in career scoring the night before the Laker legend’s death.

Saturday night’s ceremony will no doubt be watched by James and the entire Lakers organization, allowing them to offer one final tribute to the fallen icon.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.