LeBron James remembers watching, idolizing Kobe Bryant during All-Star games as a teen

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TORONTO – LeBron James might be the only Cleveland Cavalier playing in the NBA All-Star Game this weekend, but he at least has head coach Tyronn Lue with him.

James was amused over all the fuss that accompanied Lue getting the chance to coach the Eastern Conference in Sunday’s All-Star Game.

And while it might seem strange to some, James was quick to point out Friday at the All-Star media day that Lue “would have been here anyways, even if coach Blatt was still our coach.”

James has been criticized for what many presume to be his role in Blatt’s dismissal, and the four-time MVP says he isn’t letting that perception bother him. He also didn’t take the bait when asked to describe differences between Blatt and Lue.

James’ answer: “Their height.”

James also talked about watching stars like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant play in All-Star games while he was growing up. This is Bryant’s 18th and final All-Star appearance, while it’s James’ 12th consecutive appearance since joining the league.

James said he would see Bryant, who joined the league out of high school, and hoped that he would be able to do the same.