Magic Johnson Says Lakers Made Kobe Bryant 'Very Proud' After Winning NBA Championship

Magic Johnson recently opened up about Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers legend recently appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and reflected on his favorite memories with Bryant who died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter Gianna and seven other people back in February. But when Johnson talked about the team winning the NBA Championship last month, he knew how Bryant would react.

"The Lakers went down there on a mission. They dedicated the season to Kobe Bryant and his beautiful daughter, who both passed away. They made Kobe very proud in heaven, and I’m sure he was just so happy with what the boys did … winning the NBA championship," he said as reported by PEOPLE. "We still miss him, all basketball fans, all Lakers fans. We still miss Kobe Bryant and just hope his wife and his other daughters are doing fine." Johnson went on to say based on everything the Lakers went through this year, they deserved to win their 17th title in franchise history.

"The Lakers winning the NBA Championship means so much to the city of Los Angeles," he said. "To lose Laker legend Kobe Bryant early this year and then deal with the many effects of COVID-19, this was a tough year for Lakers to rise and win." Johnson and Bryant both won five NBA titles with the Lakers. They also appeared in the All-Star game more than 12 times and both are multiple NBA Finals MVP winners. Johnson led the Lakers to five titles in the 1980s while Bryant did it from 2000-2010.

The 2020 version of the Lakers featured two of the best players in the league - LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Shortly after the NBA Finals came to an end, James paid tribute to Bryant on Instagram. "Hope I'm made you proud my brother!! Love and miss you Champ!!" James wrote. When James learned of Bryant's death he posted an emotional message on Instagram.

"You mean so much to us all here especially [Laker Nation] and it's my responsibility to put this s3 on my back and keep it going!!" James wrote. "Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There's so much more I want to say but just can't right now because I can't get through it! Until we meet again my brother!!"