Sportress of Blogitude

LeBron James hopes Lakers are making Kobe Bryant, family ‘proud’

LeBron James paid tribute to Kobe Bryant following the Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 3 victory over the Houston Rockets Tuesday night by saying he hopes the team makes the icon and his family “proud” with their postseason efforts.

James delivered one of his patented, outstanding and complete postseason performances in a 112-102 win with a 36-point, seven-rebound, five-assist and four-block stat line that helped give the Lakers a 2-1 second-round series lead.

Following the win, James noted that the Lakers feels a “responsibility” to uphold the franchise’s winning tradition and honor its icons, including Bryant.

“At the end of the day, we just hope we make him and his family proud,” James said during his on-court, postgame interview.

James has made sure that Bryant remains in the hearts and minds of NBA fans throughout the restart in the bubble at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Fla. Beginning with the Lakers’ opening game, James has sported a No. 24 finger sleeve on his left hand.

There also have been an abundance of Bryant remembrances across the NBA in the bubble, including how the Lakers wore their Black Mamba City Edition alternate jerseys on Aug. 24 in a game during which the Lakers coincidentally led 24-8 at one point.

Bryant’s death not surprisingly hit James especially hard, as the two developed a strong friendship once LeBron signed with the Lakers.

In July, James admitted that “not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think about him.”

Shortly after Bryant perished along with daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26, James debuted a new “Mamba 4 Life” tattoo in honor of the Lakers icon.

Tuesday’s tribute only reinforces just how much Bryant meant to James, Lakers and entire NBA community.