In the summer of 2010 when LeBron James decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat, the entire landscape of the NBA shifted. The previous two seasons had been controlled by Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers who had made three straight finals appearances and won the NBA Championship in 2009 and 2010.
While Wade had won one ring with the Heat in 2006, LeBron had yet to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy, and the frustrations were beginning to set in. As it turns out, that last Kobe championship with the Lakers in 2010 was the last straw for the two close friends.
Wade appeared on the Skweek Show by Tony Parker and revealed that immediately after the Lakers beat the Celtics in Game 7 and he saw Kobe Bryant grab the ball in celebration, he turned off the TV and immediately called LeBron:
Dwayne Wade talks about how he turned off the TV when Kobe won in 2010 and immediately called LeBron.
“LeBron, so what you gonna do?”
“Kobe winning all these rings, now he got 5..”
Miami’s superteam was created because of Kobe. 😂 pic.twitter.com/1QXAkRc5V3
— Brandon (@clickthatfollow) September 25, 2023
At that point, Kobe was the goal that everyone was shooting for, and seeing him win his fifth championship was obviously frustrating for competitors like Wade and LeBron. There had surely been conversations about teaming up, along with Bosh, by this point, but seeing Kobe and the Lakers win again was apparently too much.
What happened after is well known at this point. LeBron infamously made ‘The Decision’ and formed the superteam in Miami. They would win two championships in 2012 and 2013 but also lost in their two other Finals appearances before LeBron would return to Cleveland. Many would consider LeBron’s stint with the Heat as his peak years.
Once the Cavaliers were eliminated by the Celtics in the 2010 playoffs, it was likely that LeBron was already headed to Miami, regardless of who ultimately won the championship. But seeing the standard bearer of that time, Kobe Bryant, and the Lakers win once again basically locked in the Heat superteam.
Markieff Morris says Lakers were ‘locked in’ to win 2020 championship for Kobe Bryant
That 2010 championship would be the Lakers’ last until 2020 when LeBron James himself would lead the Lakers to the NBA Championship inside the bubble. Unfortunately, that came after the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant, but it was that tragedy that helped fuel the Lakers when it mattered.
Markieff Morris was a key member of that team, and he recently spoke about that journey, saying that the Lakers knew they were going to win that championship before they went to the bubble. Morris said that the team was ‘locked in’ about winning that ring for Kobe and no team was going to stop them.