The Los Angeles Lakers’ victorious win against the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals Saturday (Sept. 27) night was emotional as it was the eight-month anniversary of Lakers icon Kobe Bryant’s passing. It’s also the first time the Lakers made it to the finals since Bryant led the team in 2010.
The special circumstances surrounding the win wasn’t lost on James. Speaking with Yahoo Sports, he opened up about Kobe and his regret to not making more of an effort to make sure that an intimate meeting between the two about life in Los Angeles, before his passing.
“Of course, you think there’s going to be time for us to get together and I understand that there are regrets in life, but I definitely wish I had that moment with him,” James said. “I do remember when I decided to come here, he sent me a text right away and said, ‘Welcome, brother. Welcome to the family.’ That was a special moment because at the time, Laker faithful wasn’t [fully in on me]. A lot of people were saying, ‘Well, we might not want LeBron at this point in his career,’ and, ‘Is he right? Is he going to get us back [to the Finals]?’ So to hear from him and get his stamp of approval, it meant a lot. I don’t ever question myself, but when it’s coming from Kobe, it definitely meant a lot.”
One of the main thing James wanted pointers on was how to win over the loyal Lakers fanbase ahead of him joining the franchise in 2018.
“I would have definitely loved to get that side of what it takes, what does it take to win over Laker faithful or how can I make them appreciate my game. That would have been something to pick his brain on.”