Kobe Bryant and LeBron James first played against one another during the King’s rookie season, 2004. Since then they have played against each other for a total of 22 games. Although technically playing different positions they never backed down from the challenge of guarding one another. Kobe, of course, has spent his entire career on the Los Angeles Lakers while LeBron stayed on the east coast playing for Cleveland then Miami and now back in Cleveland. Over the course of that time they have both won 2 NBA titles, 2 NBA Finals MVP awards and voted into the All-Star game the same number of times. However head-to-head, LeBron has had the advantage. His team has won 16 of those 22 games and statistically is better in every offensive stat besides free throw percentage. But the important question is, who has had the better sneaker game?
Kobe’s final season might not be going the way he had dreamed, but life is no fairytale. And with injuries hampering him the past few seasons, just seeing him on court is a gift on its own. Sadly we never saw the two superstars meet in an NBA Final. But that doesn’t take away from the rivalry, respect and friendship the two created over the last 12 years.