LeBron James Reflected On Kobe Bryant’s Legacy The Night Before His Death

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LeBron James reflected Saturday on Kobe Bryant’s legacy as one of the greatest NBA players of all time ― one day before the former Los Angeles Laker and his daughter died in a helicopter crash.

James, who currently plays for the Lakers, passed Bryant on Saturday to clinch the No. 3 spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. The Lakers were playing the Philadelphia 76ers, and James needed 18 points to pass Bryant’s career total of 33,643 points.

After Saturday’s game ― which took place in Philadelphia, where Bryant was born ― James recalled meeting Bryant during the 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend. On that occasion, Bryant gave James a red, white and blue design of his signature sneakers. James said he later sported the sneakers in a matchup against Carmelo Anthony, who was in high school at the time. Anthony now plays for the Portland Trail Blazers.

“It’s just too much. The story is just too much. It doesn’t make sense,” James told reporters of Bryant. “Just to make a long story short, now I’m here in a Lakers uniform, in Philadelphia, where he’s from. The first time I ever met him, he gave me his shoes on All-Star Weekend. It’s surreal, it doesn’t make no sense, but the universe just puts things in your life. And I guess when you live in the right way, or you’re just giving everything to whatever you’re doing, things happen organically.”

James said he was “happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers. The man has two jerseys han

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