The sports world is still coming to terms with Kobe Bryant‘s death being a reality. The first anniversary of the former LA Lakers‘ great tragic passing will occur this week. With that in mind, the Lakers and LeBron James are taking a much different approach toward paying their respects to Bryant.
Kobe Bryant’s tragic death
The sports world was rattled last January after Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others lost their lives in a tragic helicopter crash.
Bryant’s sudden passing had a significant impact on many around the sport of basketball and other walks of life. The NBA community felt the shockwaves, with many of their biggest stars expressing heavy emotions.
Teams around the league playing that day honored him in various fashions, from 24-second clock violations to wearing No. 24 and No. 8 jerseys. LeBron James and the Lakers were struck hard by the devastating loss of one of the game’s most extraordinary talents.
Almost exactly a year later, the franchise is taking a much different approach to paying their respects to the Hall of Famer.
LeBron James and the Lakers honoring Kobe Bryant in a unique way
Kobe Bryant’s passing nearly a year ago still has many left in shock.
LeBron James and the LA Lakers have remained at the forefront of honoring the all-time great. Although it’s been nearly a year since the incident, the team’s approach toward demonstrating respect to Bryant has taken a much different path.
The organization has no desire to bring further attention to the first anniversary of his passing. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers’ only plans to honor Bryant will come through wearing his signature sneakers against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
LeBron James will continue to wear the No. 24 finger sleeve on his hand while the Lakers will stay the path of using his name to break every team huddle. The team won’t wear their Black Mamba uniforms against the Cavaliers or Wednesday’s contest against the Philadelphia 76ers.
LA isn’t planning to have any formal tribute for Bryant, as they believe it could draw more attention to the details of the accident and create more pain than healing.
It may be a year since his passing, but it’s still a grieving process that many struggle to move through. James aired that sentiment following Saturday’s win over the Chicago Bulls.
“Man, it’s a saying that time heals all,” James said. “And as devastating and as tragic as it was and still is to all of us involved with it, only time. And it takes time. Everyone has their own grieving process.”
Anthony Davis also voiced that he’s still having difficulty moving past the loss of Bryant. All of this only further underlines the Hall of Famer’s everlasting impact on the Lakers and the NBA.
Impact forever felt in the NBA
Kobe Bryant’s impact on the NBA is one that goes well beyond his playing days.
Bryant has played a significant part in shaping the generations of talent that have followed, as many viewed him as the gold standard. He represented much more than being an all-time great, as his mental approach to the game is one that many have adopted to their craft and careers well beyond the world of sports.
Although Bryant saw his life end far too soon, his influence and legacy will live on through the players and fans that adored and respected him.