The Lakers forward recounted his earliest memories of the former Lakers shooting guard after scoring the 33,644th point of his career Saturday night, giving him one more point on the league's all-time scoring list than Bryant.
"As I started playing more ball and as I was getting out of high school, the things that he was doing on the floor, you know, I admired and wanted to be a part of," James said.
Bryant, 41, was among the nine people on board a helicopter that crashed in Calabasas Sunday. There were no survivors.
Watch the whole interview in the video above.