LeBron James, Lakers Nation laud Kobe Bryant in return to Staples

LOS ANGELES — As much as the on-court product this season has been can’t-miss fodder for Los Angeles Lakers fans hungry for a winner, it was a courtside fan rooting on the Lakers’ 122-101 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday who stole the show.

The fan just so happened to be Kobe Bryant.

“That’s one of the greatest players to ever play this game, taking time out of his day on a Sunday,” said LeBron James, who put up 33 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. “So I’m just trying to put on a show for him and give him a reason, like, ‘OK, we might come to another game.'”

Bryant, in the building to promote “Epoca: The Tree of Ecrof,” the children’s fantasy novel he created with author Ivy Claire, played the dual role of proud Laker alumnus and proud papa, as he attended the game with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria “Gigi” Bryant.

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