James looks poised to miss out on his first postseason since his sophomore campaign in 2004-05, as the Lakers sit 10.5 games behind the Western Conference's last playoff seed with 11 contests remaining.
With the Lakers falling short of expectations, Bryant offered James some advice for years to come.
"You just got to keep pushing," Bryant said in an interview with ESPN's Mike Greenberg. "Seasons like this are what make the championships worth it."
James suffered a groin strain on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors, which seemed to be a turning point for the Lakers' season. They went 6-11 in the 17 games he missed and fell from sixth to ninth in the West.
The King wasn't the only key Laker to be bitten by the injury bug, as Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram were both recently shut down for the season with an ankle issue and blood clots, respectively.
"It was unfortunate because they got hit with so many injuries in rapid succession," Bryant said. "When they were rolling, they were playing very well, I think exceeding people's expectations. And then they got hit with all these injuries, kind of set them back, knocked them off-kilter a little bit and it's hard to reboot that. So now, they got caught in that rut, but next should be better."
Bryant failed to reach the playoffs five times over his 20-year career, including his final three NBA seasons.