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View Full Version : Lebron James and Kobe Bryant Respect and Admire Each Other, As We Should



Tony_Starks
01-16-2015, 07:44 PM
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LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers broke their six-game losing streak, 109-102 against the Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers,*thereby relieving the immense pressure that building around their so-called super team in recent week. The sellout crowd at Staples Center witnessed a delightful back-and-forth between James (36 points, five assists, five rebounds) and Bryant (19 points, 17 assists, six rebounds). And last but not least for this rebuilding Laker Nation (whether they’ll admit it or not), the loss helped preserve the 2015 first-round pick that goes to the Phoenix Suns if it falls outside of the top five.

Above all else, though, James and Bryant provided the kind of mano y mano fun that made for a memorable night. With 30-year-old James in his 12th season and 36-year-old Bryant in his 19th, it was*the 20th time they’d faced off against one another. And while James has now won 14 of the matchups, this one was more about the spirited play and respectful appreciation they showed for one another than anything else.

“It’s always fun; a pleasure,” James said of playing Bryant. “Two of the best competitors this game has ever seen. To be on the same court with him, someone I looked up to when I was a child growing up and seeing him go straight from high school to the NBA, it’s fun. It’s great. I hated him being out of the league last year because of injury. It’s fun having him back.”

James and Bryant made it fun because, well, they couldn’t stop smiling. During breaks in the action, they exchanged some trash talk and had a few laughs and then went back to trying to one-up one another. Bryant defended James down the stretch, but couldn’t stop him with 43.5 seconds remaining when the Cavs star bumped the pressing Bryant and drove right. James hung in the air long enough to finish the underhanded layup, one that was only possible once he’d floated past multiple defenders, and Cleveland had a six-point lead that all but ended it.

“It’s a little different now,” Bryant said of facing James. “Some years ago, we were competing for championships. I was a lot more moody. Now it’s a little different. I get a chance to appreciate the competition and enjoy that interaction. We’ve gotten to know each other very well. Our relationship had changed over the years. We never really had much interaction until (they were on the Olympic team together in) 2008 and it has grown since then.”

James agreed.

“I think our relationship has grown more than ever over the last two years,” he said. “I don’t know what it was. (Bryant) is not as moody as before, or (saying), ‘I’m taking your heart out from the jump, and we’ll figure things out later.’ I love where he’s at right now. Whatever happens from now until when he’s done, he’s going to go down as one of the greatest basketball players to play this game. You can rank him wherever you want, but he’s one of the greatest. It’s always fun competing against him.”

For Bryant’s part, he’s in a fascinating place at the moment. This game was the latest proof that he can still play, but it came in the kind of context that is so challenging for him as a competitor.

Because his body has been so much more sore than he anticipated this season, his minutes are being managed like never before and there is even talk of him possibly being shut down for the season a few months from now.

And regardless of what takes place with his Lakers from now until he retires, nothing will change about the fact that he is nothing short of a living basketball legend. James, like so many millions of others, knows that better than anyone. The change in this climate, then, is that the stars who square off against Bryant these days seem more willing to pay their respects. Even during play.

“This is different for me because I am used to being hated,” Bryant said. “It’s really unnatural. It’s like you go up against somebody, and they give you a hug. It’s a different feeling, but I am really appreciative of it. It feels good.”


http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/01/nba-kobe-bryant-lebron-james-hug-fun-lakers-vs-cavaliers

Chronz
01-16-2015, 10:25 PM
very interesting read. I wonder why Kobe was so moody earlier in his career, mj showed Kobe the ropes from day 1, did he not want to give away any secrets?

RLundi
01-16-2015, 11:00 PM
Kobe is a living legend. A lot of the players today are young enough to have watched him win a few championships. I think Kobe's contemporaries hated him, and no doubt a few people now who have been rubbed the wrong way by him, but the majority look up to Kobe and revere him.

Also, it kinda has to be said, he's sort of harmless now because he's regressed and the Lakers aren't contending. So while it's still competitive between Kobe and other NBA players, this is sort of his farewell tour and everyone is treating it almost romantically, kind of how MLB players showed their respect and appreciation for Derek Jeter his final year.

numba1CHANGsta
01-16-2015, 11:04 PM
I respect Kobe for staying with one team his entire career. If Lebron would have done that I would have respected him as equally, but I lost a lot of respect for him for leaving CLE to join the Big 3 in MIA. Kobe has gone through the good and the bad in LA and LeBron couldn't handle it anymore in CLE the first time around

FraziersKnicks
01-17-2015, 02:39 AM
I respect Kobe for staying with one team his entire career. If Lebron would have done that I would have respected him as equally, but I lost a lot of respect for him for leaving CLE to join the Big 3 in MIA. Kobe has gone through the good and the bad in LA and LeBron couldn't handle it anymore in CLE the first time around

The 2 scenarios are wildly different and we really don't need to turn this into another one of these shouting matches. Appreciate greatness on both sides. That's what this thread is about.

setman2000
01-17-2015, 03:11 AM
I respect Kobe for raping a teenage girl in a hotel room while his wife was at home.

albertajaysfan
01-17-2015, 03:23 AM
The 2 scenarios are wildly different and we really don't need to turn this into another one of these shouting matches. Appreciate greatness on both sides. That's what this thread is about.

Agreed.

Glad to have witnessed their careers amongst many other greats as well.

ILLUSIONIST^248
01-17-2015, 03:29 AM
I respect Kobe for staying with one team his entire career. If Lebron would have done that I would have respected him as equally, but I lost a lot of respect for him for leaving CLE to join the Big 3 in MIA. Kobe has gone through the good and the bad in LA and LeBron couldn't handle it anymore in CLE the first time around

.

ILLUSIONIST^248
01-17-2015, 03:30 AM
I respect Kobe for raping a teenage girl in a hotel room while his wife was at home.

Lmao. Any time you get a chance you do this.

cahawk
01-17-2015, 04:51 AM
Wish it were true but kobe respects no one & has no friends.
Note his own parents & sisters did not even attend his wedding, just as no Laker teammates attened, either.

RLundi
01-17-2015, 06:25 AM
I respect Kobe for staying with one team his entire career. If Lebron would have done that I would have respected him as equally, but I lost a lot of respect for him for leaving CLE to join the Big 3 in MIA. Kobe has gone through the good and the bad in LA and LeBron couldn't handle it anymore in CLE the first time around

Kobe wanted to be traded. He would've forced his way to Chicago if management didn't do everything they could have to keep him. If he was a free agent, you don't think he would've bolted? You don't respect LeBron because he had an opportunity Kobe didn't and took it? Because Kobe would have done the exact same thing.

Staying with one team is cute for the autobiography, but in essence, it doesn't mean as much.

jerellh528
01-17-2015, 06:32 AM
Kobe wanted to be traded. He would've forced his way to Chicago if management didn't do everything they could have to keep him. If he was a free agent, you don't think he would've bolted? You don't respect LeBron because he had an opportunity Kobe didn't and took it? Because Kobe would have done the exact same thing.

Staying with one team is cute for the autobiography, but in essence, it doesn't mean as much.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. It means a lot to the fans of that team

FraziersKnicks
01-17-2015, 09:09 AM
Well this thread stayed on topic for about 3 posts...

RLundi
01-17-2015, 01:07 PM
Woulda, coulda, shoulda. It means a lot to the fans of that team

Then I guess for LeBron, it'll mean a lot to the fans of those two teams :shrug:

DODGERS&LAKERS
01-17-2015, 02:23 PM
Well this thread stayed on topic for about 3 posts...

No s $#t. that's why I hardly ever post anymore. It always turns into a pissing match.

I enjoyed the game where each player took on the others usual dynamic. Kobe was a passer, and LeBron was the scorer that closed in the fourth. it was kind of a "anything you can do I can do better" deal

Bruno
01-17-2015, 04:58 PM
Kobe wanted to be traded. He would've forced his way to Chicago if management didn't do everything they could have to keep him. If he was a free agent, you don't think he would've bolted? You don't respect LeBron because he had an opportunity Kobe didn't and took it? Because Kobe would have done the exact same thing.

Staying with one team is cute for the autobiography, but in essence, it doesn't mean as much.

thats not how I remember it. Kobe had zero interest in going to Chicago if Deng was sent back to the Lakers. the Lakers demanded a package centered around Deng from Chicago for Kobe. checks and balances.

pressuring management is the best off court move Kobe made in his career. i'm thankful to this day and roll my eyes when I hear it as a criticism. the kids had started to take more control (we see now how thats going) and Kobe made a push directly to the old Dr. to make a move and fulfill his 2004 promise. the Lakers are a family organization, hand shake deals and promises mean something.

Raps08-09 Champ
01-17-2015, 05:03 PM
I respect Kobe for staying with one team his entire career. If Lebron would have done that I would have respected him as equally, but I lost a lot of respect for him for leaving CLE to join the Big 3 in MIA. Kobe has gone through the good and the bad in LA and LeBron couldn't handle it anymore in CLE the first time around

They were in different situations. If LEbron won before 2010, I doubt he would have left. Kobe went through more good than Lebron did so of course he doesn't have as much reason to leave.

nastynice
01-17-2015, 05:09 PM
Well this thread stayed on topic for about 3 posts...

serious. Great OP, both players are greatness

Tony_Starks
01-17-2015, 05:54 PM
Kobe is a living legend. A lot of the players today are young enough to have watched him win a few championships. I think Kobe's contemporaries hated him, and no doubt a few people now who have been rubbed the wrong way by him, but the majority look up to Kobe and revere him.

Also, it kinda has to be said, he's sort of harmless now because he's regressed and the Lakers aren't contending. So while it's still competitive between Kobe and other NBA players, this is sort of his farewell tour and everyone is treating it almost romantically, kind of how MLB players showed their respect and appreciation for Derek Jeter his final year.

This is true. I think stars like Lebron actually feel bad for Kobe now. When a dude on the verge of retirement is your best player management is completely screwing up.

I enjoyed seeing those two great players having fun though. You can tell they don't know how many times they'll face each other again and have that mutual respect every time they play.

RLundi
01-17-2015, 06:31 PM
thats not how I remember it. Kobe had zero interest in going to Chicago if Deng was sent back to the Lakers. the Lakers demanded a package centered around Deng from Chicago for Kobe. checks and balances.

pressuring management is the best off court move Kobe made in his career. i'm thankful to this day and roll my eyes when I hear it as a criticism. the kids had started to take more control (we see now how thats going) and Kobe made a push directly to the old Dr. to make a move and fulfill his 2004 promise. the Lakers are a family organization, hand shake deals and promises mean something.

No criticisms at all from me. I think players have a right to switch teams if they can pull it off, either by trades or through free agency. I have no qualms with it. The hypocrites who look down on LeBron because he didn't stay with one team his entire career, as if that somehow tarnishes his legacy- that, I have a problem with. The guy I quoted is a prime example of that. Theoretically it's okay for Kobe but not LeBron? Hmmmm.

jerellh528
01-17-2015, 07:04 PM
No criticisms at all from me. I think players have a right to switch teams if they can pull it off, either by trades or through free agency. I have no qualms with it. The hypocrites who look down on LeBron because he didn't stay with one team his entire career, as if that somehow tarnishes his legacy- that, I have a problem with. The guy I quoted is a prime example of that. Theoretically it's okay for Kobe but not LeBron? Hmmmm.

The problem isn't switching teams, tons of players do. It's the whole thing, the leaving your hometown, the press conferences, the teaming up, the leaving them high and dry when he squeezed everything outta them, the going back home to team up again and the general backstabbing and selfish ring chasing nature of him. Players leave all the time, that's also why it's kinda special for guys like kobe or duncan

Hawkeye15
01-18-2015, 12:32 AM
I don't admire either, but I respect each of their games completely.

L8kers4life
01-18-2015, 12:57 AM
I don't admire either, but I respect each of their games completely.

This is my stance as well.