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In July, current Lakers star LeBron James opened up about missing Bryant six months after his untimely death. During a conference call with reporters ahead of the resumed, abbreviated basketball season, James, 35, took a moment to reflect on Bryant, his former Olympic teammate.
"A day doesn't go by when I don't think about him," James said, according to USA Today.
While James and Bryant were often seen as rivals before the latter's NBA retirement in 2016, Bryant frequently praised James once he left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Lakers two years later. Bryant, who sat courtside during several Lakers games this season, championed James for coming to L.A. and giving the team a chance to win a 17th championship.
“When LeBron came to Los Angeles, he is now a Laker, he is part of our brotherhood, part of our fraternity, and we should embrace him that way,” Bryant told the Los Angeles Times in January before his death. “You got to celebrate … appreciate what he is as an athlete while he is here. Appreciate this guy, celebrate what he’s done because it’s truly remarkable.”
The Newport Beach, California, area where Bryant lived prior to his death is also planning to honor the sports star. Orange County supervisors have voted to make Aug. 24 official Kobe Bryant Day.
Aug. 24 was chosen because it features the two jersey numbers, 8 and 24. The date is also one day after his birthday.
County Board Chairwoman Michelle Steel said Bryant was a “treasured member of our community” who “inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up,” according to a recording of the board meeting earlier this month.
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