If there is one thing all NBA fans regret, it's not getting the opportunity to watch an NBA Finals matchup between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. The two best and most iconic players of the NBA for the past 20 years had many great battles and almost met at the finish line in a couple of instances, but the dream of many fans never came to fruition. But one thing that also would have been immensely fun to watch with these two was the potential of the two superstars joining forces. Apparently, Kobe had no problem with that.
The Kobe-LeBron duo
LeBron James might now be a Laker, but he will never reach the status and love from LA fans that Kobe Bryant had. The Lakers legend spent his entire career wearing the Purple & Gold, going down in history as one of the best ever to step foot on the court. In his long tenure, Kobe played with some great players like Shaquille O'Neal, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, etc. But there is one player Kobe wished he had a chance to play with. And that's LeBron.
In an interview back in 2017, a year after retiring, Kobe shared what type of player would fit best next to him, and surprisingly Bryant thought James was a perfect choice:
"I think the player that would fit with me the most, I actually think would be LeBron. He's a passer first, I'm a scorer, I'm a finisher. 'Bron is a facilitator by nature and I'm a finisher by nature. Those two styles, I think complement each other extremely well."
Kobe Bryant, Holding Court with Geno Auriemma
It's hard to picture these two together, especially in their prime days, as we always put them up against each other and compare who is the best. But when you think about it and look at Kobe's explanation, the fit seems right. Kobe is that killer and scorer every team needs, while LeBron is the perfect basketball player, dominating the game with a mix of basketball intelligence and power. LeBron's passing ability would be maximized alongside a scorer of Kobe's nature who would feast on all the open space he would get from LeBron's presence.
Maybe you could question how the egos of these two would work together. After all, we are talking about two unquestioned alphas. Those questions were being raised before the 2008 Olympics when we got the first chance to see Kobe and LeBron together on the big stage. In the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, the two stars would prove how they can work just perfectly together, bringing home two golds.
Also, the fact the two shared a mutual respect for each other, and their games would have been icing on the cake. After all, the two became brothers, and if they managed to somehow team up during their glory days, it would have been way too fun to watch, but a bit unfair for the rest of the league, if you ask me.