When talking about the greatest players in NBA history, it’s almost impossible to not mention both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Though the two had very different styles, they were often compared. Kobe has often been thought to be more aggressive a scorer while LeBron has been known just as much for his ability to pick up an assist as he is a basket. They never had a chance to play against each other in a championship, but they were often considered the two best in the game during their time.
There’s never a right time to mourn the death of a close friend, but LeBron took his time to process Sunday’s news that Kobe passed away in a helicopter crash before he released a public statement. It wasn’t until late on Monday that LeBron was able to put the words together to honor the fallen legend.
LeBron was likely one of the last people Kobe ever spoke to. That fact isn’t lost on the current Los Angeles Lakers leader. The two men were uniquely connected as both went straight from high school to the NBA with massive expectations. Both men went onto become the best player in the NBA at points in their careers. LeBron and Kobe will always be connected thanks to their stints with the Lakers.
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LeBron Recently Recounted His Favorite Kobe Memories
Saturday represented a celebration for LeBron as he passed Kobe as the third leading scorer in NBA history. Unfortunately, the excitement didn’t last long. It was just on Saturday when LeBron offered some of his favorite Kobe memories.
“It’s another guy that I looked up to when I was in grade school and high school,” James said, per ESPN. “Seeing him come straight out of high school, he is someone that I used as inspiration. It was like, wow. Seeing a kid, 17 years old, come into the NBA and trying to make an impact on a franchise, I used it as motivation. He helped me before he even knew of me because of what he was able to do. So just to be able to, at this point of my career, to share the same jersey that he wore, be with this historical franchise and just represent the purple and gold, it’s very humbling, and it’s dope.”
It’s clear that Kobe played a large role in LeBron’s development. While it’s impossible to fill the massive void that Kobe has left behind, the best thing LeBron can do is to continue to help lead the Lakers to greatness. Kobe’s life was the Lakers and there’s nothing he cared about more than winning when it came to basketball.