It was something a Los Angeles Times reporter talked about with Bryant, who retired from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016. Two years later, James joined the purple and gold after leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers.
During his interview, Bryant didn’t seem bothered about James moving ahead of him on the scoring list. In fact, he seemed happy for 35-year-old James, and had a message for Lakers fans.
“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,” said Bryant. “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 retired Laker then said he won’t be in the building whenever James surpasses him, because he doesn’t want to take away from his special moment.
“I won’t go to the game,” said 41-year-old Bryant. “I’d rather that be about him. I’ll for sure call him and tell him congratulations. I’m so happy for ‘Bron, all he’s accomplished and continues to accomplish. He’s been great.”
It’s very possible that James will reach the 80 points during the Lakers’ current road trip.
Having taken on the Boston Celtics in Boston on Jan. 20, the team will face the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden on Jan. 22. From there, they’ll play the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center on Jan. 23, then head to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Jan. 25.
The Lakers’ next home game is on Jan. 28 against Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers.
James and crew are currently in first place in the Western Conference, with the Clippers in second. The Denver Nuggets are in third and the Golden State Warriors, who dominated the NBA for the last few years, are in last place.