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LeBron James Says ‘Every’ Lakers Game Is Going to Be Emotional’ After Kobe Bryant’s Death

Gone, but certainly not forgotten. In the wake of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death, his pal LeBron James stated that the late NBA legend’s influence will be felt during all Los Angeles Lakers games to come.

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“Every game is going to be emotional,” James, 35, said on Monday, February 3, per USA Today. “But time heals all, and it’s going to continue to help us every game.”

The Ohio native continued, “We’ll continue to lean on each other and lean on our crowd. Our crowd is going to be with us. We have to continue to push forward. That’s what he’d want us to do.”

LeBron James Every Game Going to Be Emotional Since Kobe Bryant Died
Lebron James and Kobe Bryant Speak During a London 2012 Olympic Games Press Conference in London, United Kingdom on July 27, 2012. Diego Azubel/EPA/Shutterstock

Bryant died alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others while on his private helicopter on January 26. The NBA star’s rotorcraft crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California, and immediately burst into flames upon impact.

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The Academy Award winner, who was a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star, is survived by his wife of nearly two decades, Vanessa Bryant, and their three daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.

James shared a statement via Instagram on January 28 in response to Kobe’s death. The message was accompanied by several photos of the pair over the years, leading with a shot of the friends interacting while Kobe sat courtside and watched James play with the Lakers.

“[I’m] sitting here, trying to write something for this post but every time I try, I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had,” the former Miami Heat player wrote. “I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!!”

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LeBron James Every Game Going to Be Emotional Since Kobe Bryant Died
LeBron James watching his son’s basketball game on January 20, 2020 in Springfield, MA. Gregory Payan/AP/Shutterstock

James continued, “I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! 😢😢😢😢💔. Man, I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation💜💛 and it’s my responsibility to put this s–t on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here!”

To further honor his late pal, James got a tattoo with a portrait of a snake to reference Kobe’s nickname “Black Mamba.”

“My brother,” James wrote via Instagram on January 31. “#Mamba4Life #RIPKobe #RIPGiGi.”

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