Kobe, Lebron Lebron, Kobe Bryant discussed on The Hoop Collective


They kept the Lakers in the series. It was almost two. WHOA and he gets that huge shot at the end of game to to send it back to Detroit one one? That's an all time shot in the finals again it. It's unfairly early forgotten because of the way his three four and five went but that was an iconic shot. And you know He. He had so so many you know by the time Lebron became you know marquee attraction by a second year in every time Lebron and Kobe played it was the event event They played on Christmas and they played on On what Luther King Day or they played on Christmas or they played in a very marquee event. I mean I spent I think three or four Christmases in L. A.. Because it was like Lebron plays coby on Christmas Day. And those are the pageantry of those games and I've said this many times and I just don't believe I was just talking to somebody about this yesterday because you know the Brown was passing passing him scoring wise. They played in every single finals from two thousand seven to two thousand eighteen. Eleven eleven straight files. One of the two of them were in and they never met and the game was worse for it. Was it was a historic near-miss miss really if you think about it. It's the only combination that we didn't get the possible you know star versus stars East versus West You know it's really the the only one that we didn't get and you know Brian. You mentioned the big event. It was even when they met in regular season but remember even especially early on they. They didn't live up to the hype in Kobe. But get hurt or missed a game. I remember he has relaunched or two year. Kobe seat is right now. You got hurt hurt. That hurt in that game. I can the first theat or something. Yeah and his right shoulder hanging off and he points a couple left handed jumpers first before he comes on it came out. I think I think you're the second or third year air. Kobe sprained his ankle in the game. I think there were two of the first times they played coby got hurt in the game. I'll tell the story now. Now now the he has passed away. I'll break the confidence So remember we talked about Brian. You might have gotten to quote where Lebron's had a quote where he said he just doesn't have that instinct to go out and kill. Everybody liked Kobe. Does you remember that. But I think you're along those lines. I don't know if that was the exact quote but but he expressed some some I. I'm not I don't know how he said it but it was something along those lines. Yeah like I don't have that same desire to you. Just go out and everybody. Kobe does and I I asked coli about it. I said that close in the Ron and commits again. He said I can't believe he would actually say that out loud Kobe was stunned. You know like I think I understood that you know maybe not. Everybody thought the same way he. You did But he just couldn't believe that you would say that out loud and say it on the record so about a week. After that Choline I had a little discussion The Lakers played the cavs. And it was certainly in the midst of the whole Lebron's not clutch debate. You know whatever you WANNA call it That was raging pretty high. Obviously pre-championships and I think Lebron misses two free throws something happens at the end. You know. Lebron Lebron has a chance and does not come through in the clutch and Walking out of the locker room Kobe said it co remember that conversation we had about the last week and he said Yeah I said. Do you think I came into play tonight. Yeah so you know. That was a little sense of the rivalry. I think I think they came to appreciate each other. I think you know I think Kobe Salt Lebron's go through it and work his way and suffer the pain and and you know. Make that slow. Low climb to the mountaintop and I. I think we came to appreciate that as well and I think Lebron appreciated Kobe In particular when they were in Beijing together are on the On the Olympic team and Brian you cover that team right I really relied on Kobe in crunch time right. And you know all the greatness. He wasn't the best player on a theme but he was the guy that they went to the gold medal. Game when they add against I think Lebron probably had the better tournament but koby absolutely brought home the gold with that that fourth quarter and I don't think they were particularly close at all. I think they kept a distance. I think it was competitive. Not just in basketball but where member is you know. When the bride came out of high school he gets US hundred million dollar shoe contract and coby had done had done this contract with Adidas where he did it come out of high school and it was good money at the time? He was a seven year contract for like the thirteenth picker. Whatever but it turned out to not not be a very good contract because he was getting underpaid and so he actually bought his way out of the contract with Adidas with like zone? Money paid them back money so he become a shoe free agent and he was a three time champion and pretty much of the top of of the of the game at that point Jordan had retired and he got forty million in his shoe hill. The prime got sixty million dollars more than Kobe when he switched over from Adidas to Nike and I think there was a rivalry with that one of the things. People always remember those puppet commercials that they did Where the the two puppets would portray betray Kobe and Lebron and even when those were running I thought? Isn't it amazing that they have these two hundred contracts or paying them tens of millions of dollars but they're not actually putting them in in commercials together. I don't think they really wanted to be like playing opposite each other and commercial so I mean the puppets they could sort of make them say whatever they wanted and they could act to sort of a caricature so it was you know and they both had sort of equal time where they showed up the other one. Good luck getting Kobe. To agree to a scene where Lebron showed him up on anything scripted or not and so I think that there was a distance between them. You know they only play go twice. AC Year and and they never play in the playoffs. Or whatever. And I do think after and it wasn't just in two thousand eight. They played together on three different Olympic teams. I'm sorry two different Olympic Teams in one team. I think they didn't Kobe. Play in the two thousand seventeen to qualify for the Olympics. I think he so. We've had the definite twenty twelve. What I thought was interesting in twenty twelve? The London Olympics was by then. Kobe realized that you know the Bron- and Durant ah kind of passed him by in terms of you know their abilities in the game and he took it upon himself to be the spokesman for that to remember stories about like you know. Could this team beat the Dream Team and you know of course Michael Jordan. You know really dismissed. All that and Kobe would go back in Michael Jordan and I remember one of their games in other tuneup games in Las Vegas. You know I I asked about that. And and he was the spokesman and he was saying we beat them and he said I'm going to win a series but like we get a game plan after we could be put up on their. You know for forty minutes and forty eight minutes and we can beat those guys and I said cool. You're kind of afraid. He says my nose. I'm a bad M effort. So that was that was like the beginning of his his adjustment into the role that I loved in his latter years so after he was really no longer continue for Champs but actually enjoyed that version. Koby the best in terms of talking to him because you know he had great perspective. He was very outspoken. was very available available to talk to and could just share everything from going against Michael going against Lebron into the historical perspective. The league all that you know and that's the version that you have for most of your time in La was the best version of copy especially those luke last year. I mean first of all. Let's get back to two thousand eight Olympics. That was so important for Kobe. Bryant in my estimation a gave him a connection to the rest of the league that he didn't have before they let him have the taste of winning that he had lacked for for years. You know two thousand four finals ends up. Being the thing that breaks up the Kobe shack team he gets back. There in two thousand and eight gets embarrassed in Boston guarded and that series. But you know he goes to Beijing. USA They say basketball reasserts its dominance. Kobe Bryant reasserts his his persona as a winner. And I think is reminded that it's really worth to devote yourself totally to this. This craft this child sport. That the way you have been you got a little bit of a payoff. That fueled the better team side of Kobe that we saw on the Kobe. Power years when he got two more rings. And you know that was so important I think to go Kobe. In just the little moments we would have covered covering him on a day to day basis and it was it was always a challenge. I became the face of ESPN's ESPN'S NBA rank. And you know I've said this before I was never really huge fan of that project to begin with because it's an aggregation of a lot of different people's rankings things rather and we only rank certain amount of players whatever but Kobe at one point was ranked twenty fifth. And you know he was still in his mind Kobe Bryant and and he wrote me in in public settings for it. Because I'm the ESPN. I come around and my website saying he's only twenty fifth best player on the planet. And how can that be possible. I love that stuff. You know it meant that you cared. It meant that he understood. Our jobs meant that he paid attention to everything You know someone who sweat the small stuff someone who does that myself. Personally I see no problem with it works Kobe Bryant and worked for other people well and I Dunno it's we shouldn't be talking about him in the past it doesn't feel right actually not put it in the past tense I it's funny 'cause I've thought about you. Know recapping him but just in terms of you know as we look back on his career not as we look back on his life right You know I think we all have these these memories and anecdotes but you know we thought we'd been uncorking them as you know from from almost like at this weekend day when when Lebron is passing him and that's one of the things that just makes it extra tragic is.

Coming up next