LeBron James and Kobe Bryant aren’t just two of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen, but they both have legacies that will always be linked to one another. While this was true before, this fact has only been solidified by LeBron joining the Los Angeles Lakers, now leading the team to the NBA Finals for the first time in a decade, which is when Kobe last carried them to a championship.
Following the game on Saturday, when Los Angeles became the Western Conference champions, LeBron revealed one of his regrets about the late Lakers legend to Yahoo Sports.
After leaving life in the East to join the legendary Lakers franchise, James says that he was supposed to have an intimate meeting with Kobe about the team, the city, and his expectations. Unfortunately, both of the superstars having such chaotic schedules made it hard for them to pin each other down and set a date.
“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,” LeBron revealed, 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,'” James said. “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 ended up telling the publication some of the questions he planned on asking Bryant during their meeting.
“When I played in Cleveland, I grew up 35 minutes away from there, and so I kind of knew the people,” he began. “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. 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.”