LeBron James referenced the film “The 6th Man” to explain his unintended tribute to Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash last month.
During Thursday’s 121-111 home loss to the Houston Rockets, James slammed a double-clutch reverse finish off a fast break, a play that looked identical to a dunk performed by Bryant against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center in November 2001.
When asked about the similarities, the four-time NBA MVP referred to a movie in which a basketball player’s dead family member and teammate comes back as a ghost to help him achieve success.
“Ever see the movie ‘The 6th Man’? Kobe came down, put himself in my body and gave me that dunk on that break,” said James after a 125-120 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
“I didn’t really predetermine that, either, until I jumped. I just jumped and kind of figured it out, and then . . . it’s crazy how it’s like the same exact dunk, the same exact hoop that Kobe did [it on] — what, 19 years ago or something like that? That was nice.”
Same arena. Same basket. Same dunk. 19 years apart. 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/fj7HRmqv3c
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 8, 2020
The Lakers tweeted a video showing the two dunks playing out simultaneously; it has been viewed over 24 million times.
“Our great social media team put that together, and I was like, ‘That’s really, really good.’ And then my son did the same thing in his warmup, he didn’t do it in a game but he did the same dunk in his warmup. Kobe is in all of us right now,” said James.
“It’s crazy, it’s crazy. For that to now be a part of my history, that correlation between me and Kobe and that play, I think it’s pretty, pretty, pretty awesome. I’m glad I did it in a Laker uniform.”
A spectacular image of James’ dunk was caught by NBA photographer Andrew D Bernstein and the 16-time All-Star intends to make it a permanent fixture 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 … He’s the real MVP, for sure.’ That was crazy. To catch that moment, like I’m walking on air, it’s pretty cool. It’ll be hung up in my house.”
Author: Sporting News