Sports Illustrated journalist Robin Lundberg is speaking out against those demanding to know whether or not Lakers player LeBron James attended Monday's Celebration of Life public memorial service for Kobe Bryant. After James was hounded by reporters questioning his attendance after he failed to be spotted at the gathering, Lundberg, in a video shared to Twitter, urged fans and reporters to allow James and those close to the late NBA legend "grieve."
"Kobe Bryant's death is not about LeBron James," Lundberg said. "I'm not sure what is wrong with some people, particularly the crack investigators attempting to figure out if James was in attendance at Kobe's public memorial service."
"Why does it matter to you?" he asked, echoing the sentiments of many fans. "What do you feel you are owed?"
"And for those in the media seriously discussing this, not everything is about views and clicks," he continued. "Trust me, there have been plenty in the wake of Kobe's passing. I tried to do tried to do the best work I could to honor him, but celebrating any numbers that came as a result never felt right, and certainly neither does demanding anything from anyone involved."
"Sure, there is a connection to James when it comes to record books and the uniform he wears," Lundberg acknowledged. "But he already addressed the Staples Center faithful in the Lakers' first game there following this tragedy. Asking more of him, or anyone, is kind of sick."
"We just watched Kobe's family and friends celebrate and mourn," he said, speaking of Monday's Celebration of Life public memorial service. "We are talking about real loss and real human beings here. Vanessa Bryant showed strength that is almost impossible to believe"
"Let people grieve," he urged. "There is absolutely no acceptable reason to capitalize on that as yet another way to debate LeBron."
For his part, James, who has paid tribute to Bryant on numerous occasions, has remained relatively mum regarding his possible Monday attendance at the memorial, which featured speeches from the likes of Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal. Fielding questions from reporters Tuesday, James said, "respect your question for sure, but it's very emotional. very emotional day. A very tough day for myself, for my family, for everyone involved."