Last night, we witnessed the last match-up between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Although it wasn’t a great night for Bryant and the Lakers as they lost 120-111, seeing these two superstars go at each other for one last night was great for my generation.
Growing up a DIE HARD Kobe Bryant fan, I despised LeBron James for the majority of his career. I downplayed everything he accomplished: every stat, every ring, and everything that included “The King”. But it all stewed from James immediately being donned the “best in the league” amongst his first few years in the NBA. And the Kobe in me said:
“Wait a minute!! Has Bryant retired and I have not been made aware?”
I found it so disrespectful that fans all around the world and even TV analysts were so quick to overlook what Bryant had accomplished and what he was still accomplishing, and just looked at LeBron as the number one guy. This exact conversation spewed a lot of feuds, which quickly separated fans as either a Kobe fan or a LeBron fan. So many arguments and debates have occurred from this topic, and still occur today. The media ignited this flame by continuously comparing the two and poured more gasoline on it by putting out those beloved commercials that included Kobe and LeBron puppets.
As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to love LeBron James and everything that he contributes to the game of basketball. His stature, athleticism, and his get everyone involved mentality is so fun to watch and it has/will mode a lot of young players coming up under him, hence Ben Simmons. With that being said, I’ve come to understand why he’s so appreciated and where the argument of LeBron is better than Kobe has come from. Just from his all-around numbers and making others better but at the end of the day, it’s still KOE, Kobe Over Everybody and it will always be that way in my eyes. The tenacity and will of Kobe, the put it all on the line mindset, and that killer instinct is like no other.
“His competitive nature,” James said when asked what he admires most about Bryant. “A lot of guys might be bigger, taller or jump higher, but it’s something that’s in you that gets you to that level.”
What these two guys have done for this generation goes beyond words. They’ve been the face of the NBA for the past decade and it has been an enjoyment to witness their greatness. It’s great to see two amazing talents appreciate what the other attributes to the game. Although we were never able to see that grueling NBA Finals between the two we all wanted, we still got a few good battles throughout their careers.
While You Were Sleeping: Two legends faced off for the last time. https://t.co/LOXF0LbeVS
— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) February 11, 2016