Although they played the game in different eras, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are rightfully considered two of the greatest basketball players of all time. The two NBA icons will face off for the final time in Cleveland tonight.
The season is going quite differently for the two stars. Bryant, a five-time NBA Championship winner, is the standout of a struggling Los Angeles Lakers team, unlikely to make the playoffs in its star’s last season in the league. James, a two-time NBA champion, is leading the Cleveland Cavaliers toward another postseason berth, with his team currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings. Bryant is averaging 16.9 points and 3.4 assists per game this season, James 24.9 points and 6.4 assists.
According to basketball-reference.com, Bryant and James have faced each other 20 times, with James victorious in 14 of the matchups.
Bryant and James have more in common than just being among the greatest players to ever step on the hardwood. The guard and forward are both Nike-sponsored athletes, although Bryant spent the early years of his career in Adidas. In September Nike unveiled the latest signature shoe for James, the LeBron 13, and in December it debuted Bryant’s last on-court signature shoe, the Kobe 11.
The two will meet for one more game this season after tonight’s matchup, with James and the Cavaliers heading to Los Angeles to face Bryant and the Lakers on March 10.