Kobe Bryant was known for creating iconic players during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. One such example was a reverse windmill dunk that he pulled off 19 years ago. Current star – and Bryant's friend – LeBron James recently paid tribute to the late NBA icon with a perfect reproduction of this dunk.
Same arena. Same basket. Same dunk. 19 years apart. 💜💛 pic.twitter.com/fj7HRmqv3c— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 8, 2020
James' version came against Houston Rockets on Thursday. Avery Bradley snagged a turnover from Russell Westbrook and lobbed the ball to James. The veteran NBA star was all by himself on a fast break and had plenty of time to plan out his dunk.
While the dunk itself was a perfect recreation of Bryant's score, there were other details that drew considerable attention. Specifically, the set-up for the dunk was nearly identical.
When Bryant broke out the reverse windmill, he did so after running free on a fast break. The pass to him also happened after a turnover. The only difference at the time was the opponent. James slammed down the reverse windmill against the Rockets; Bryant did so against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"No way this is a coincidence. LeBron watches so much basketball he knew exactly what he was doin'!" one fan wrote in response to the play. There were many that knew James was paying tribute to his friend, and they felt that this was truly a special moment.
"This is really dope !!! I actually LOVE IT!! I miss you Kobe," another user wrote. There were several fans that wanted to talk about how Bryant's dunk was better, but the majority were just appreciative of the move to honor him.
James has not been shy about paying tribute to the late NBA icon. He was spotted on the tarmac the day Bryant died, crying with members of the Lakers. He also gave a tribute speech prior to his team's first game back in action.
"Kobe is a brother to me. All the battles we had in my career, the one thing we shared is the determination we had to want to win," James said prior to a game against the Portland Trail Blazers. "I want to continue his legacy, not only this year but for how long we play the game of basketball because that's what we love."0comments
James said that he wants to continue Bryant's legacy, and it appears that he is taking this goal seriously. The reverse windmill dunk against Houston is a fitting example.
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images