LeBron James: Lakers 'Just Hope We Make' Kobe Bryant's Family 'Proud'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, rear, and Rajon Rondo (9) celebrate during the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Houston Rockets Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

LeBron James is looking to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their 17th championship in franchise history, and he is hoping to make Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Purple and Gold legends proud along the way.

"At the end of the day, we just hope we make him and his family proud," James said of Bryant after Tuesday's 112-102 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of their second-round series.

He also said the team has a "responsibility" to make all the Lakers legends proud and uphold the tradition of the legendary franchise.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

“At the end of the day, we just hope we make him and his family proud.” -LeBron James on honoring Kobe Bryant’s legacy https://t.co/jkHWJcxn2H

This is far from the first time James has spoken about the importance of playing for Bryant.

After leading the Lakers to a victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round on Aug. 24, the King said that he felt "extremely blessed and honored to be able to play on 8/24 and continue to remember Kobe Bryant and Gigi Bryant and all the fallen people that was a part of that tragic incident."

He also said he felt Kobe's presence in the building when the Lakers went up 24-8 in that game.


.@KingJames discusses playing on Kobe Bryant Day and calls for social justice after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. https://t.co/nxJRe90PmS

Spectrum SportsNet @SpectrumSN

"When I looked up there and saw 24-8 I was like 'okay, he's here in the building.'" @KingJames (30 PTS, 10 AST, 6 REB) on what it meant to him to play on Mamba Day in a #Lakers uniform. https://t.co/HMneCtpDqT

Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26. James gave an emotional speech to the Staples Center crowd before the Lakers' next home game after the tragedy.

On the court, James and the Lakers took a 2-1 lead over Houston with a second straight victory.

LeBron led the way with 36 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four blocks, while Anthony Davis stuffed the stat sheet as well with 26 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.

Los Angeles will have an opportunity to seize a commanding 3-1 lead in Thursday's Game 4.