Los Angeles Lakers’ star forward LeBron James and the late Laker legend Kobe Bryant are two of the greatest basketball players of all time. Because the two players played in the same era, Kobe versus LeBron is considered the greatest NBA Finals matchup that fans never got to see.
Floyd Mayweather Gifted Rare Trading Card
Topps created a trading card of Kobe and LeBron for the 2008-09 season, the year that the two future Hall of Famers were supposed to meet in the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, LeBron and the Cavs lost to Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The card goes for $15,000 on eBay and was just gifted to boxing legend Floyd Mayweather by Wooter Apparel per Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson. Mayweather says that he intends to have the card signed by LeBron According to Boardroom.
Kobe Is Part of the Reason Lebron Came To the Lakers
Kobe and his legacy played a major part in the four-time champion coming to the Lakers in the summer of 2018 in hopes of becoming the next Laker great.
James had eventually planned to have a sit down with Kobe about how he handled playing in the City of Angels for his entire 20-year career. Unfortunately, that sit-down never happened as Bryant and his daughter Gianna died tragically in a helicopter crash last year. LeBron still feels anguish about not having the conversation with the late legend.
Lebron Had Kobe’s Stamp of Approval
“Of course, you think there’s going to be time for us to get together and I understand that there are regrets in life, but I definitely wish I had that moment with him,” James told Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
“I do remember when I decided to come here, he sent me a text right away and said, ‘Welcome, brother. Welcome to the family.’”
LeBron may have all of Laker Nation’s stamp of approval now, but it was not always that way. When James joined the Lakers during 2018 free agency, there was a lot of speculation about how much James’ had left in the tank after just being swept by his nemesis Kevin Durant in route to a second consecutive loss in the NBA Finals.
Kobe immediately reached out to ensure James that he had his full support which changed everything for LeBron.
“That was a special moment because, at the time, Laker faithful wasn’t [fully in on me]. A lot of people were saying, ‘Well, we might not want LeBron at this point in his career,’ and, ‘Is he right? Is he going to get us back [to The Finals]?’ So, to hear from him and get his stamp of approval, it meant a lot. I don’t ever question myself, but when it’s coming from Kobe, it definitely meant a lot,” James said.
Thanks in large part to LeBron, the Lakers are the defending NBA champions. The Lake Show is looking to secure back-to-back championships in the NBA for the first time since Kobe and the Lakers did it in 2009 and 2010. It is highly unlikely that the fanbase is having any regrets now.