LeBron James and Kobe Bryant will always be connected. But this link in legacies has been solidified by LeBron leading the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals for the first time since Kobe carried them to a championship. Following the series-sealing game on Saturday, LeBron decided to tell Yahoo Sports about one of the few regrets he has when it comes to Bean.
After leaving the Eastern Conference behind to join the Lakers, James says that he was set to have an intimate meeting with Kobe about the franchise, the City of Los Angeles, and his expectations. But, the superstars’ chaotic schedule made it hard for them to pin each other down.
“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,” ‘Bron said, before touching on how much Kobe’s support meant to him.
“I do remember when I decided to come here, he sent me a text right away and said, ‘Welcome, brother. Welcome to the family,'” He continued. “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.”
LeBron also told Yahoo Sports some of the questions he had planned on asking Kobe during the meeting that never happened.
“When I played in Cleveland, I grew up 35 minutes away from there, and so I kind of knew the people. When I went down to Miami, [Dwyane Wade] was able to give me the blueprint on that. But I never played for a historic franchise like the Lakers,” he said. “It’s probably like when [Alex Rodriguez] went to the Yankees. He probably heard from [Derek] Jeter on what it’s going to take to play in front of this. It’s different from playing with the Mariners. It’s different from the Rangers. I would have definitely loved to get that side of what it takes, what does it take to win over Laker faithful or how can I make them appreciate my game. … That would have been something to pick his brain on.”
“And then probably talk about us never meeting in the Finals. Just apologizing to him. In f—ing ’09 when I lost to Dwight [Howard], that would have been a great conversation for sure. You know, just to be like, we didn’t give the people what they wanted. We didn’t give them what they wanted.”
Kobe’s Mamba Mentality and “Job’s Not Finished” phrase has become the muse and rallying cry for the Lakers during this Finals run.
James embodied Kobe’s killer mamba mindset during Saturday’s game when he promised Yahoo Sports that he would finish the series that night.
He was all business. The laughs and smiles that he shares with teammates throughout portions of his warmup routine were long gone. James had reversed course and had the look of someone who was out for blood. All of a sudden, 6-foot-9 superstar noticed a familiar face who was observing from behind the basket, and James walked over.
“I’m going to end this s— tonight,” he told Yahoo Sports. “Watch!”
LeBron proved to be a man of his word when he put up a 38-point, 16-rebound, and 10-assist triple-double to end the Denver Nuggets.