Timing, as they say, is everything. So Sunday night was probably the wrong time to refer to someone else as Kobe Bryant – yet it was also understandable as the deceased legend weighed heavily on the mind all weekend.
Bryant tragically passed away in a helicopter accident last month and the weekend’s activities were centered around his legacy, with tributes continuing to pour in and the NBA changing the format of the All-Star game to celebrate their fallen star. The All-Star MVP Award was also renamed in Kobe’s honor and the game’s fourth quarter was one he would have definitely enjoyed being a part of as it was a hard-fought one.
So when a reporter accidentally called LeBron James “Kobe” during the post-game presser, per Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Lakers star let it slide.
“I don’t mind being Kobe this weekend,” James said.
The reporter quickly apologized.
“That’s fine,” James replied. “My mom might not like it, but I’m okay with it.”
LeBron shared a very good relationship with the former Lakers star and was distraught after learning of his untimely death. He’s been honoring the Black Mamba and his daughter Gianna in the weeks since the tragedy, claiming the icon’s presence could have been felt throughout Sunday’s game.