Kobe Bryant’s retirement is still fresh in every NBA fan’s mind. The Mamba retired in 2016, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire several players. Even as a high schooler, LeBron James was a huge fan of Kobe Bryant and had taken immense inspiration from his play. In his final match in Cleveland, Kobe signed and gifted LeBron James his match-worn KOBE 11 shoes as a parting gift. A few weeks later, Kobe played his historic final game, scoring 61 points for the Lakers in 2016.
Kobe’s final match against LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers ended in a 120-108 defeat for the Lakers in March 2016. James scored 24 points in that game, while Mamba scored 26 points for the Lakers. Kobe and LBJ have faced each other 22 times in their careers, with James winning 16 of those encounters. Furthermore, James had a better average of 28.2 PPG from those encounters compared to Bryant’s 24.6 PPG.
Kobe Bryant gifting LeBron James his signed match-worn shoes has once again resurfaced
Kobe Bryant may not be with us anymore. However, he has been kept alive in everyone’s spirit and mind through the legacy and greatness he left behind in the NBA. One of the greatest moments between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant came in their final game facing each other in Cleveland in 2016.
The Mamba has always considered LeBron James as his younger brother. He had even gifted young LeBron one of his Adidas shoes in 2002 when LBJ was playing high-school basketball. Years later, facing James for the last time, Kobe gifted his exclusive Nike KOBE 11 purple and gold match-worn shoes as a signed souvenir. Watch this clip below of Kobe gifting an excited LeBron his match-worn shoes, uploaded by mambabasketball24 on Instagram.
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In the video, LeBron James seems excited to have Kobe’s shoes and says, “I need those. I need those for the case. For sure.” Overwhelmed with LeBron’s love and gleefulness, seeing him, Kobe embraced the Cavs star while gifting him the shoe, calling him “My brother.”
A few weeks later, Kobe played the final game of his career on April 13, 2016. Facing the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center, Bryant scored a historic 61-point game, even scoring the game-winner with 32 seconds left. Several eminent personalities, including Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Shaquille O’Neal, and Magic Johnson, witnessed Mamba’s magic for the final time as audiences to the game.
Kobe and LeBron shared a close bond of brotherhood throughout their career
Kobe Bryant has always said he shared a close relationship with LeBron James. To an extent, we can always find similarities between Kobe’s relationship with James and Michael Jordan’s with Kobe. For Jordan, Kobe was always his little brother, and the Mamba followed suit in the case of LeBron James.
Bryant giving James a parting gift during their final face-off is a testament to their brotherhood. Captaining the 2008 USA Dream Team to an Olympic gold medal win, Kobe Bryant had helped young stars such as Dwyane Wade and LeBron James blossom under his tutelage. Indeed, Kobe was a great inspiration for his fans and players like LeBron James.
The post “My Brother”: Kobe Bryant Giving LeBron James Iconic Autographed Shoes Just Months Before Historic Final 61-Point Game Resurfaces appeared first on The SportsRush.