LeBron James Opens Up About His Viral Kobe Bryant Tribute Dunk

"I'm glad I did it in a Laker uniform," he said.

LeBron James Makes NBA History With Triple-Double in Win
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty)
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By Bonnie Stiernberg / February 9, 2020 12:51 pm

On Thursday (Feb. 6), LeBron James reenacted a Kobe Bryant dunk from 2001 during the Lakers’ game against the Houston Rockets, and as the team’s Twitter account pointed out by posting a side-by-side comparison of the two slams, it was eerily spot-on. But on Saturday, James told ESPN that it wasn’t planned in advance.

“I didn’t really predetermine that either until I jumped,” he said. “I just jumped and kind of figured it out, and then … it’s crazy how it’s the same exact dunk, the same exact hoop that Kobe did [it on] — what, 19 years ago or something like that? That was nice.”

James told reporters after the game that he felt Bryant’s spirit inside him during the dunk. “Ever see the movie The 6th Man?” he asked. “Kobe came down, put himself in my body and gave me that dunk on that break.”

He also shared a photo of the dunk to his Instagram account, and he told ESPN that he plans on getting it framed to hang in his house. “When I saw it for the first time, I was like, ‘Holy s—, that is an unbelievable photo,’” James said. “And then when I found out how it was taken: Andy literally had one snap on his remote to get that, and when I saw the video of it, when I was in the air, you can see the flash in the background. I was like, ‘Oh, that is … He’s the real MVP, for sure.’”

“It’s crazy, it’s crazy,” he added. “To now [have it] be a part of my history between that correlation between me and Kobe, that play, I think it’s pretty, pretty, pretty awesome. I’m glad I did it in a Laker uniform.”

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