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LeBron James determined to bring Lakers a 17th title after Kobe Bryant’s tragic death

Lakers, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant

The Los Angeles Lakers held a luncheon on Tuesday to help players, coaches, executives, and many others touched by Kobe Bryant before his tragic death on Sunday due to a helicopter crash.

LeBron James, who took the microphone to share many anecdotes of their time together, soon redirected his focus, saying he could handle the burden of playing through the grief in pursuit of the Lakers’ 17th championship.

“God gave me wide shoulders for a reason,” said James, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic.

The Lakers already had their Tuesday showdown against the Los Angeles Clippers postponed for a later date (to be determined), allowing for the franchise to grieve the loss of one of their greats. But the team still has plenty of season left and with it comes the pursuit of a title — the reason ownership brought in James from a struggling Cleveland Cavaliers team that was dilapidated once he left.

Bringing a title to Los Angeles is an immense burden, but one James is willing to carry on his broad shoulders, much like he promised the late Bryant in an Instagram post earlier this week.

At 36-10, the Lakers still have a stronghold on the West and plenty of firepower to do some damage in the postseason, but it will be on James to spearhead this team to the ultimate goal and get another Larry O’ Brien Trophy to adorn the late Dr. Jerry Buss’ office. Los Angeles is currently 3.5 games ahead of the rival Clippers for the top spot in the rugged Western Conference.

It might not feel normal at Staples Center for the rest of the season after the loss of Bryant, but bringing a title to Los Angeles might just be the right medicine to cure those ill by his tragic death.