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“You family now” — LeBron James shares Kobe Bryant’s 3-word message after he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe made sure LeBron knew he had his support.
LeBron James and Kobe Bryant

LeBron James and Kobe Bryant

The late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant retired in 2016, but his presence still loomed large within the organization even years after hanging up his basketball shoes.

When LeBron James joined one of the league's marquee franchises in the 2018 offseason, some people around the Association might have wondered how Bryant would react to the news. Apparently, the "Black Mamba" welcomed him with open arms.

"The day I signed, Kobe said, 'You family now,'" said James in a teaser for "Legacy," a Hulu documentary about the Lakers franchise.

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Passing the baton

After Bryant retired from the game, questions on which player should take the burden of being the face of the Lakers arose. The team saw some young potential cornerstones wear the Purple and Gold in the following couple of years, such as Brandon Ingram, D'Angelo Russell, and Lonzo Ball. However, none of them seemed to fit the bill.

So, when James announced his decision to bring his talents to L.A., many Lakers fans rejoiced because Bryant's successor had finally arrived.

The four-time MVP did not take long to make his mark in the franchise. In his first game in a Lakers uniform, James finished with a double-double, recording 26 points and 12 rebounds to go along with 6 assists.

Fourth ring for the King

More than two years after he moved to L.A., the future Hall of Famer led the Lakers to an NBA championship, which happens to be his fourth title. Unfortunately, Bryant was not around anymore to witness the feat after tragically losing his life in a helicopter accident earlier that year.

James will be playing in his fifth season with the organization. Fans can expect to see him don the Lakers uniform for at least a couple of years, as he recently agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension that will run through the 2024-25 season.

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