NBA Throwback: The Special Gift LeBron James Received from Kobe Bryant

Published 02/10/2021, 6:19 PM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 10: The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant greets the Cavaliers’ Lebron James before the start of their game at Staples Center Thursday night. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: lakers.0311.kjs — Photo by KEVIN SULLIVAN / Orange County Register — 3/10/16 The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Cleveland Cavaliers Staples Center Thursday night. 3/10/16 (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)


Five years ago, late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant played his final season in NBA. Although at the time, Lakers were not a playoff team, it was special to see the Black Mamba embrace the court for one last time.

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On 11th February 2016, Kobe and the Lakers played against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although the game did not pan out well for Kobe, it was his post-game gesture which stole people’s hearts.

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After the game was over, Kobe signed the sneakers he was wearing and gifted it to LeBron. It was a special moment to see both the players sharing such a strong connection. It was special for a player like LeBron who had grown up seeing Bryant dominate opponents day in day out.

LeBron built a great relationship with the ‘Black Mamba‘ after his retirement. Especially when ‘the King’ joined the Lakers organization in 2018, the connection really blossomed. It was evident, when Bryant used to come to watch Lakers’ game.

Can LeBron James channel his Mamba Mentality for a Repeat

While last season might have been challenging for James and Co. especially in the bubble, this season they face multiple hurdles if they want to repeat.

They have had the smallest off-season in NBA history, the Western Conference has become fully loaded with teams like the Warriors making a comeback and a very tight schedule to complete their games.

Jan 28, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) goes up for a shot against Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee (24) during the first quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

With all of this is mind, it was expected that LeBron would be absent for the initial part of the season, but to everyone’s surprise, the 36-year-old star hasn’t taken a single day off and has played the most minutes in the Lakers.

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This has been pivotal due to the lackluster start to Anthony Davis‘ campaign. With Davis taking a step back, LeBron has controlled the offense and been the biggest threat for other teams.

He is already been great this season. If he channels his mamba mentality, we might be seeing an unstoppable LeBron James primned for the MVP trophy and well as the championship.

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Aditya Mohapatra

851 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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