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Sunday, July 12, 2020

LeBron James had inspirational message for Lakers during meeting about Kobe

The Los Angeles Lakers are preparing to move forward with their season amid the biggest tragedy in franchise history, and LeBron James has assured his teammates he is ready to bear the burden of losing a brother.

Bill Oram of The Athletic provided a look inside a meeting Lakers executives, coaches and players held on Tuesday, which was two days after Kobe Bryant, Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter accident. The room sat silent at first before LeBron finally said “I’ll go” and stood up to address the team.

James spoke for more than 10 minutes as basically the entire organization — including Lakers owner Jeannie Buss — listened attentively. LeBron reminisced about the past, talking about the times he squared off against Kobe and the two Olympics he spent with Bryant as teammates. Eventually James addressed how the team would move forward, and Oram was told LeBron delivered a powerful message.

“God gave me wide shoulders for a reason,” LeBron said.

LeBron’s message for the team sounds like it was not unlike the one he shared on social media after Kobe’s death. LeBron said in an Instagram post on Monday that he is “heartbroken” and “devastated” but vowed to carry out Bryant’s legacy. Dozens of NBA players are going to feel like they are “playing for Kobe” this season, but LeBron is the one player who has the most control over bringing another championship to Los Angeles in Kobe’s honor.

The Lakers are undoubtedly going to have ups and downs in the wake of Kobe’s death, but LeBron sounds like he is prepared to do everything he can on the court to help LA heal.

More Larry Brown Sports coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death:

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Other victims of the helicopter crash:
John Altobelli, junior college baseball coach, also died in helicopter crash
Christina Mauser, girls’ basketball coach, among the helicopter crash victims
Sarah Chester, daughter Payton were also killed in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
Ara Zobayan was the pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash

Tributes to Kobe:
NBA players changing jersey numbers in honor of Kobe Bryant
Bill Belichick shares touching anecdote in tribute to Kobe Bryant
UConn honors Gianna Bryant with own jersey, spot on the bench
Video: Shaq gets emotional talking about Kobe Bryant on TNT
Dallas Mavericks retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 jersey
Video: Raptors, Spurs start game with amazing tribute to Kobe Bryant
Shaq posts heartfelt tribute to Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan releases statement on death of ‘little brother’ Kobe Bryant
Video: Doc Rivers breaks down crying talking about Kobe Bryant
Phil Jackson calls Kobe Bryant ‘a chosen one’ in statement on his death
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issues statement on death of Kobe Bryant
Video: Dwyane Wade posts emotional message reacting to Kobe Bryant’s death
Kendrick Perkins extends olive branch to Kevin Durant after Kobe Bryant’s death
Gilbert Arenas vows to begin coaching career like Kobe Bryant urged him to
Video: Emotional Mike Breen sums up NBA world’s emotions about Kobe Bryant’s death
Trae Young’s huge game was full of Kobe Bryant-related statistical coincidences

More coverage:
Investigators release chilling drone footage from Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site
Video: Kobe Bryant helicopter audio released
Media errors, rumors, poor judgment run rampant in reporting of Kobe Bryant news
TMZ says they had permission from Kobe’s people to report Bryant had died
NBA postpones Tuesday’s Lakers-Clippers game after Kobe Bryant’s death
Kobe Bryant recently filed for ‘Mambacita’ trademark for daughter Gianna
Kobe Bryant checked in on Shaq’s son Shareef morning of helicopter crash
No, Rick Fox did not die in helicopter crash that killed Kobe, Gianna Bryant
Lakers fans start memorial to Kobe Bryant outside Staples Center
Kobe Bryant’s last tweet was congratulating LeBron James on passing him
Sports world stunned over Kobe Bryant news
Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash – dead at 41

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