LeBron reflects on Kobe after taking Lakers to Finals
Garrett Ellwood / National Basketball Association / Getty

Exactly one decade after Kobe Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to their 16th and most recent NBA title, LeBron James finds himself on the same path as the late icon.

After helping lead the Lakers to a league-record 32nd Finals appearance with Saturday's Game 5 win, James explained how Bryant continues to inspire him.

"Every time you put on purple and gold, you think about his legacy, you think about him and what he meant to this franchise for 20-plus years and what he stood for both on the floor and off the floor," James said, courtesy of The Washington Post's Ben Golliver. "What he demanded out of his teammates, what he demanded out of himself. We have some similarities in that sense.

"Our games are different. But as far as our mindset and our drive to want to be the best, and our drive to not lose ... just that drive to always want to be victorious. It stops you from sleeping."

James is not the only Laker to evoke memories of Bryant during the team's current postseason run.

On Friday, a day after Los Angeles went up 3-1 in its series against the Denver Nuggets, center Dwight Howard said the "job is not finished" when asked about the team's mentality leading into Game 5. The line was reminiscent of one delivered by Bryant when the Lakers took a 2-0 series lead during the 2009 Finals, coincidentally against Howard and the Orlando Magic.

While walking off the floor after Saturday's win, James was seen uttering a similar phrase to Anthony Davis.

James revealed he considers himself part of a select group who understand the sacrifices Bryant made to excel at his craft.

"Sometimes you ... sacrifice a lot of things. You sacrifice your family at times because you're so driven to be so great that other things fall by the wayside at times," James said. "I understand that. I'm one of the few that can understand the mindset that he played with and the journey from high school to the NBA.

"It's just a thing that I carry with me, like I said, every time I decide at one point in that locker room before the game when I throw that jersey on."

LeBron reflects on Kobe after taking Lakers to Finals
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