In the wake of Lakers icon Kobe Bryant's death, LeBron James is encouraging men to show their emotions.

James opened up about his emotions in an interview with Sports Illustrated , where he spoke about tearing up on live TV as Boyz II Men sang the national anthem at the Lakers' first game after Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash in January.

"Men should be emotional when something hits your heart," James told Sports Illustrated. "When something feels a certain way, there's no reason you shouldn't be emotional about it. The emotion comes from, especially in this instance, somebody who has paved the way and done so many great things in our sport."

He wasn't the only athlete to get emotional after Bryant's death. The tragedy sent shockwaves through the NBA and beyond, and Michael Jordan even joked about his tears while speaking at a memorial for Bryant and Gianna on February 24.

James has been vocal about showing his emotions for years. In a 2017 podcast , James told listeners that "real men cry," and said he cried while watching "The Lion King" and an episode of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" when Will Smith's father left him behind.

"Every single time, I shed a tear," James told "Road Trippin'" of the Fresh Prince episode. "It could come from obviously me being part of a single-parent household and never seeing my father and things growing up when I was a kid, but it's just an emotional part."

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