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LeBron James on facing Kobe Bryant for the first time: “I was just in awe”

Photo: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

It will be exactly one year since the tragic death of Kobe Bryant on January 26. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James was asked about the first time he faced Kobe in the NBA. The four-time NBA champion admitted that he was in awe when he got to play against one of his idols.

“I was just in awe,” LeBron, who now holds the Lakers’ reins, said. “It’s a guy who along with a lot of other guys was on my wall that I would tape on my wall when I lived in Spring Hill in apartment 602. He was on my wall. He had a nice collage on my wall.

“It’s a guy who decided to make the jump from a highschool to the NBA. So it was someone that I was thinking of doing at one point in my junior. And really stopped thinking about it ‘Okay, if Kobe’s done it so I can hopefully learn from him one day along with KG and T-Mac.’

“Just being on the floor with him. If you remember, he gave me a pair of shoes when I was a junior in highschool. To be able to share the floor with him was like for any kid that has aspirations or has inspiring moments from someone. It’s just the sense of awe of the grace that he played the game with, the passion that he played the game with, the determination to go out and just dominate you is something that I love, something that I was like I can pick from that.

“There’s not much dialogue at all as you guys know Kobe. He’s not on floor to talk to anybody. He’s out there to kill you. He’s out there to dethrone you. He’s out there to really strangle hold you. It was just awe moment. It was something that I will never ever forget.”

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