Lakers’ LeBron James shares favorite off-court memory of Kobe Bryant
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant passed away over three weeks ago, and the loss of the iconic superstar is still very fresh as was made abundantly clear during All-Star weekend in Chicago. From numerous tributes to the players wearing Kobe and his daughter Gigi’s number during the NBA All-Star Game, Bryant’s presence was felt throughout the weekend.
“Just being part of the Redeem Team in 2008,” LeBron said. “We have so many off-the-court memories from that team. Either if it was just about basketball or going into some Team USA other events. We were able to see Michael Phelps swim. We were able to see the women’s national team play a lot of their games. We were able to go around track and field. We did a lot of things besides play basketball throughout that whole Redeem Team run that we had when we brought home gold.
“So, a lot of memories for sure.”
Bryant played a pivotal role on that Team USA squad back in 2008 and 2012. He was the undisputed leader and a role model for teammates who got to see his work ethic firsthand. As LeBron points out, Kobe also made an impression spending time doing other things off the court with his teammates overseas in Bejing, China.
Team USA went head-to-head against a very talented Spain squad led by Pau and Marc Gasol in the gold medal game. The Gasol brothers, along with fellow NBA players Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez, and Jose Calderon gave the Americans a run for their money. Still, Bryant and Dwyane Wade helped the team overcome the Spaniards and win gold.