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LeBron James Confident Kobe Bryant Will Return At High Level Reviewed by Momizat on . Before and after the Christmas Day game, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James embraced each other. While most fans want them to be rivals, there is mutual respect and J Before and after the Christmas Day game, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James embraced each other. While most fans want them to be rivals, there is mutual respect and J Rating: 0
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LeBron James Confident Kobe Bryant Will Return At High Level


Before and after the Christmas Day game, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James embraced each other. While most fans want them to be rivals, there is mutual respect and James was actually one of the first NBA players to wish Bryant a speedy recovery following the latest injury.

After the Miami Heat came out with a narrow victory, James said he has “much respect” for the five-time champion and spoke about people suggesting that Bryant should sit out the rest of the season via ESPN LA’s Ramona Shelburne:

Despite this latest setback, LeBron is confident that Bryant will return at a high level and still average 20 points a game if he wants to:

Although the media has tried to manufacture a rivalry between two of the best players in the league, it has never been a true one since they have never met in the NBA Finals. Instead, there is mutual respect that stems from playing together on the Olympic teams where they won Gold in Beijing and London.

While there will always be conversations on who the better player is, it’s nice to hear LeBron show his support for a player that paved the way for him to enter the NBA straight out of high school. Although James is clearly the best player in the league now, he has to admire what Kobe has done throughout his entire 18-year career.

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Dan Duangdao is the Senior Editor of Lakers Nation.

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  • Daryl Peek

    BOOM!

  • Jim213

    Kobe’s shooting is his strength something Lebron is and needs to improve on for his long term success given athleticism doesn’t last forever. But Kobe has to rely more on his teammates this season to buy himself more time to condition himself back to usual form which he does during the off season.

    • Daryl Peek

      LeBron is off the chart this season. He’s proving to be a better shooter. He’s taking over three, three point shots a game (more than Kobe) and is shooting 42%. He’s 60% from the field. That’s insane for a SF! His game is already starting to evolve beyond just freight train to the rim.

      • ra

        Agree. LeBron is a level up, even from last year. There’s almost nothing he can’t do, but he still has to develop a good post up game. He doesn’t have that quite yet. Also, Kobe’s shots over the years have been ‘insane’. Kobe is still a more skillful shooter.

        But after another championship (or two), LeBron may have to adjust his game anyway. The big point is that he is phenomenally athletic. That speaks of longevity. He will break some records.

        You know, I got this strange feeling that LeBron wouldn’t mind playing for LA, if he ever left Miami. DWade is clearly on the downturn, and not including Bosh, the rest of the team (Miami) could be replaced.

        I also think that the LA style (now) impressed LeBron. If he had a cadre of sprinters like the ones on the Lakers, he could really ‘thrive’ in that system. I even think that the 3 pointer by Swag-P impressed LeBron. I could almost hear him saying (hmm … good shot, maybe I wouldn’t mind playing with him and some of these other guys). I mean – Birdman can be menacing at times, but the Lakers (and yes, MDA’s system) could be a boon for LeBron.

        Look for a change of heart. LeBron is tiring of the Miami system. The next logical choice (if he leaves Miami) is now LA – and – he can handle the media flurry here. Imagine him and Kobe, in Kobe’s last years. Could be good.

        • Jim213

          IMO, be best if Lebron fulfills his contract fully and becomes a FA in 2015 given all 3 players (big 3) are FA 2014. If a FA the Lakers will have more of a shot than next season in trying to acquire him which given KB24″s $48 mil won’t hurt to attract other stars $$$.

        • Zimmeredge

          next logical choice? you’re delusionnal if you think that Lebron will ever play in Kobe’s team. that’s impossible. Lebron wants to make his own mark in the big book of nba… by playing with Kobe he will be out of the “goat” ladder because if he wins, he will win with kobe.
          i’m saying his time in MIA isn’t over yet. I might add that Pat Riley will never ever let him go.

          honestly go over the lebron hype. That will never happen.
          The only player from MIA the Lakers should get interested in is Chris Bosh. He represents what we need. Versatile, complete player, very good inside D, hustle player.

      • louie

        agreed! hims statement was valid 2 years ago, but he is pretty flawless now…

    • GM Jack

      Lebron is the best player for the last 6 years. Lebron is not a better scorer than Kobe of 5 years ago. But, in basketball, there is rebounding, defense and play making, and Lebron is superior in all of those categories. This is not against Kobe. Lebron is a superior athletic specimen naturally.

      • Jim213

        Agree, athletically, but time will tell (later yrs) if he’ll be able to sustain top form which will require him to evolve more his shooting which he is currently doing now.

        • GM Jack

          That is true, but, if you compare Kobe at his peak, 2003 to 2008, he was the cleanest scorer since Jordan, by far. And compare that Kobe to the current LBJ, the vote is split as to who is the better player. I prefer all around players, some may pure scorer. But, if you add, the points, rebounds, and assists in the playoffs, LBJs is on top. And when you add Lebrons’s interior defense and perimeter defense, is off the chart. There has been no player since 1980, that I am aware off that can defend inside and outside like Lebron. Kobe was a great perimeter defender in his prime.

  • GM Jack

    Lebron should have stayed out of this one. Lebron does not need to patronize Kobe. I have respect for Lebron as the best baller in the world. But, Lebron is not a doctor.

    • Daryl Peek

      “patronize Kobe” ?

  • Paytc

    It’s good to hear Lebron showing some maturity and respect for Kobe’s drive and passion for the game.That is big and a nice gesture. I think Lebron may be starting to realize he too could be slowed by injuries at some point.

    It is never good to kick a special player or any player for that matter when they are down. That is why I have lost respect for Barkley and a few others who are quick to provide pessimism with regards to Kobe’s future.

    Go Kobe ! Go Lakers !

    • GM Jack

      This goes back to Shaq and Kobe. Kobe never gave respect to Shaq when he was the best player in the NBA from 98 to 2002. A lot of players have held grudge with Kobe for his disrespect for Kobe. Kobe needs to clean that chapter and move one and you will see all the other players like Charles warm up. Shaq was our man. He gave us 3 rings…..I have respect for Shaq. It was ugly after Magic retired. Shaq came to save the Lakers.

      • Paytc

        Well I think Shaq (Mr. Superman himself) had the bigger of the two ego’s. I also think Kobe being the younger of the two was not expected to be the most mature. Both Shaq and Kobe need to share in the blame for the two not thriving together. I think Shaq and Kobe have made up and moved on, so why would outsiders still have an issue with it?

        You can tell now that Shaq has matured a great deal, and when he reflects back on it he feels somewhat responsible in at least a share of the problem.

        It’s obvious you don’t particularly care for Kobe and that’s you proragative. I think Kobe played a part in the Lakers getting the 3 rings Shaq helped the Lakers get.

        I have respect for Shaq too. But kicking a player when they are down is not anything to be proud about. I don’t have a bunch of love and respect for anyone who would go there under any circumstances.

      • Apex

        Just to clear something up in Kobe’s defence, something that the media and most all except a select few knew about is this: The lakers wanted Kobe to be a role player alongside Shaq, Kobe’s passion for the game was indifferent and always has been indifferent to all nba players. Kobe didn’t want to sit back and just be a role player, he truly felt he was well beyond that, and his love and the work ethic he put in would be just a waste if he accepted just being a role player. He didn’t see Shaq taking the game as serious as he was nor putting in the effort. This is why when it came time to decided one or the other the lakers hadn’t a hesitation in choosing Kobe over Shaq. And then of course the media blew it all up and forgot to report this fact!!

        • Paytc

          Apex,
          You and I know what’s up ,and you can bet they do too.
          Great point you made about the lengths Kobe would go through to be the best player he could be, never just a role player.

          Who in the world should knock a person with the burning desire to reach their greatest potential?

          The game would have been cheated if Kobe would have settled for less than his best.

          Cheers to Kobe’s successful return to the top and more Laker championships in the process (against all odds) !

          Go Kobe ! Go Lakers !

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Never doubt Kobe.

  • Apex

    EPIC HAND PALM TO YOUR FACE!! IMO nobody on here should praise lebitch one bit, shit I thought we were all here talking real basketball. If you think lamebron is great your a sucker. People think his fg% is good? ppplllleeeeaaasssee you all know a dunk counts towards your fg% don’t you????? the only, and I mean the only thing lebitch stands above anyone in the nba is getting to the open floor and running to the net. That’s it. He is a good all around player, but that’s just it he’s only GOOD NOT GREAT!!! lamebron and miami heat are ruining the nba, it’s like it’s a scripted reality tv show. BELEIVE ME when I tell you that the heat and lebitch is nothing more then just a marketing ploy for the nba, I feel like david stern is vince mcmann with a mask on turning nba into the wwe. david stern has told the refs not to call fouls on bron, and wanted the heat to stack up against the weakest conference in all pro sports so that they have a hall pass to the semi finals, basically the finals!! Trust me when I say the refs let bron get away with charges, because it sends a crystal clear message to all players out there not to risk getting injured talking a charge, and basically just get outta the way. ITS BULLSHIT, if lebitch got called on his travels, fouls, charges flops all you would ever see is an average player at best. I promise you!! He has one move, and its so elementary, basically crossover to his left hand and stiff arm anyone in his way to get to the net. WEAK!! And as far as you people on here praising his jump shot, laugh my fucking ass off!! lebron cannot, I repeat cannot hit a jump shot with a hand in his face, he only hits shots when he’s open or the defender isn’t up in his grill. He is so overhyped, and has no real skill!! Don’t give me that fucking bullshit stat comparison argument, people who don’t pay attention to basketball and watch espn, stats are just numbers, they don’t tell you nothing e.g. pressure and time on clock when the player shoots, the teams health, team chemistry, difficulty of the game etc… If you weren’t a sucker you would know all this. Trust me if we were all real for a moment and weren’t stupid and brainwashed by the miami heat lebron advertising, you would know that the best player in the game is KD hands down!! KD is 10 times the man lebitch will ever be, just for the fact he’s ripping shit up in the wild wild west…….and if you don’t believe me all you have to do is ask yourself this- how much air time does lebron get and how much air time does KD get? uuuuummmmmmm……….let that soak in for a bit!!!

    • Lenny Beason

      I agree with U about Stern and the NBA scripting the HEAT and making them the face of the league. They have been pushing LeBron on us for 6years now waiting for us to witness the second coming! That’s y he resented CP3 trade to Lakers they didn’t want Kobe messing up their plans again! LeBron gets more calls than any star I’ve seen since Larry Bird! LeBron is shooting better from the outside but he’s nowhere near the shooter Kobe or Wade are he gets a lot of easy transition buckets and his defense is over hyped! He cannot guard another superstar for a half or a whole game the way Jordan and Kobe did! He spot checks them! He cannot guard Roy Hilbert or Tim Duncan for a half and be successful in slowing them down, let alone Westbrook, Melo, Durant, Kobe, Curry, or Harden, Kevin Love! He has help because his teammates like Wade, Bosh, Battier, Birdman are long and athletic as well! LeBron is a great player but NOT better than Kobe or JORDAN in their prime!

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