LeBron James ‘kind of sad’ about Kobe Bryant retiring
LeBron James admitted Tuesday he is “kind of sad” over how Kobe Bryant will retire at season’s end.
“I wanted to be just like him, man,” James said, making mention of how he sported an Afro in high school to emulate his hero. He added that he “always thought of Kobe” when working out during the offseason, knowing full well that Bryant was in some gym somewhere honing his craft.
James said he’s looking forward to the two opportunities to face Bryant in his farewell season.
“I think it’ll be very emotional and very fun,” he said, via ESPN. “Obviously I want to win and he wants to win, too. But some things about that will be much bigger than a win or a loss … just to be able to see him and know it’s his last go-round. I don’t know. It won’t really make sense next year when you see the Lakers and you don’t see Kobe in a uniform. Twenty years, 13 out of my career. It’s almost half of my life I’ve seen him in a Lakers uniform as a professional. It’s going to be pretty weird.”
James was asked following the Cavs’ Tuesday shootaround about how Kevin Durant characterized the media as mistreating Bryant during his 20-year NBA career. He clearly took issue with the Oklahoma City Thunder star’s comments.
Durant made his comments when reacting to Bryant’s announced retirement, saying in part, “I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys treated him like [expletive].”
“I think the media has done a great job of building Kobe as who he is today,” James said, via Chris Haynes of Northeast Ohio Media Group. “There’s no reason for me to say that the media has made him (Kobe) look a certain way throughout his career.”