The Los Angeles Lakers played a Christmas Day game without Kobe Bryant for the first time in 14 seasons.
With a knee injury, Bryant is expected to miss at least six weeks and that kept him out of the much anticipated Christmas Day game. The Lakers played a dominant Miami Heat team, and although they put up a great fight, they fell to the champions 101-95. Los Angeles had a chance to win the game in the final minutes, but with its closer on the sidelines the team could not get the win.
During the game, Heat star LeBron James took the time to embrace Bryant on the bench and pay homage to the injured guard. Later, James spoke to the media and touched upon his encounter with Kobe.
LeBron James on his embrace with Kobe Bryant: “Just two guys, man. I’ve got much respect for him.”
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) December 26, 2013
Bryant is perhaps the most respected player in the NBA and everyone knows how much time and effort he puts into the game. James learned first hand just how dedicated Bryant over the years as teammates in the Olympics and opponents throughout their careers.
Kobe Bryant Talks About Not Playing In The First Christmas Day Game Of His Career