Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are two of the best players of this generation. Unfortunately, there has never really been a rivalry between the two as they never met in the playoffs.
Though Kobe has made seven Finals appearances and LeBron has made six, the two never overlapped much to the disappointment of many fans.
Kobe, however, doesn’t really care about never facing him, saying he just wanted to win the championship according to Lakers.com reporter Mike Trudell:
Kobe on not facing LeBron in the Finals: “I just wanted to win the championship … I didn’t care who we played."
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 10, 2016
Kobe and LeBron meeting in the NBA Finals would have likely been a ratings dream for the NBA had it happened. Two of the biggest stars in NBA history going head-to-head would have been huge, but the two sides just missed each other.
The Lakers made three straight Finals from 2008-2010, but James couldn’t get past the Celtics and his Cavaliers were upset by the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals. James would then make five straight Finals appearances from 2011-2015, but the Lakers were never able to get back to the top of the mountain, ultimately becoming one of the league’s worst teams in the last couple of years.
Nonetheless, both Kobe and LeBron will go down as two of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen. While it would have been great to see them square off, it doesn’t take away from either of their legacies.