Read LeBron James’ full speech before Lakers game

First Lakers game since his death brings flock of mourners

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LeBron James made his first public comments about close friend and former Olympic teammate Kobe Bryant on Friday night before the Lakers played their first game since Bryant’s death.

James walked onto center court toward the end of the Lakers’ tribute to the 20-year veteran who helped them win five NBA championships before he retired in 2016 and read all nine names of the victims in Sunday’s helicopter crash.

Then, he crumpled up a speech he’d prepared and said he would prefer to speak from the heart.

Here’s his complete remarks:

“The first thing that comes to mind,” James said, “is all about family. As I look all around this arena, we’re all grieving, we’re all hurting, we’re all heartbroken. But when we’re going through things like this, the best thing you can do is lean on the shoulders of your family and from Sunday morning all the way until the point – I had heard about Laker Nation before I got here last year about how much of a family it is – and that is absolutely what I’ve seen this whole week.



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