Although Bryant retired following the 2015-16 NBA season, some of his diehard fans have not been accepting of James. While no Lakers fans have actually been connected to this, James murals around Los Angeles have been vandalized.
Heading into the 2018-19 NBA season, the Lakers have transitioned from rebuilding to contending and this is where Bryant believes fans will accept James.
The five-time champion believes his fans will eventually ‘fall in line’ with the three-time champion as he helps the storied franchise win their first NBA Finals since the 2009-10 season, according to The Rich Eisen Show:
As James will ultimately need to win in Los Angeles, he was the first major player to sign in free agency after the Lakers were unable to the previous four seasons. In addition, the 33-year-old surprisingly signed a long-term deal without a commitment from another All-Star player because he believes in the team’s vision.
With a young core and tough veterans, James will not only look to end the team’s five-year playoff drought but help them become perennial championship contenders. Coming off eight consecutive Finals appearances in the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference will be a new challenge for him.
While the idea of Bryant coming out of retirement has been floating around, the 40-year-old ‘will never come back to the game.’ Instead, he is focused on Kobe Inc. and Granity Studios as he coaches his daughter’s basketball team.