LeBron James accomplished his goal of returning the Los Angeles Lakers to the top of the NBA mountain, winning the 2020 championship while also capturing his fourth Finals MVP Award. The Lakers had been looking for their next star since Kobe Bryant retired and his untimely death early in 2020 was an inspiring force for the team throughout the year.
Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka worked closely with James this season and of course was previously the agent and best friend of Bryant. As such, there are very few people who are qualified enough to properly compare the two, especially on a mental level.
In an appearance on “The Woj Pod with Adrian Wojnarowski,” Pelinka spoke about a similarity Bryant and James shared when it came to winning:
“What’s interesting about both of those players, LeBron and Kobe, is neither of them, I think, were satisfied or had as a goal, scoring. I mean, both LeBron and Kobe, are only about one thing and that’s winning titles. And the similarities in their approach of just being maniacal about doing whatever it takes to win championships, is everything to both of those guys.”
The desire and approach of both Kobe and LeBron is something that very few players in the history of the league could match. Kobe was a generation ahead of LeBron and many point towards James witnessing Bryant’s unbelievable work ethic during the 2008 Olympics as what really caused him to turn the corner in terms of preparation and doing everything possible to win.
The work that both James and Kobe put in stretch beyond just practicing and doing work on the court. They are two of the highest IQ players in league history and put just as much time into film study, figuring out the best way to attack their opponents and doing everything to gain even just the slightest advantage.
They were also two of the best at taking care of their bodies, allowing them to push through season after season at the highest level.
The goal of every player in the NBA is to win championships, and Bryant and James were willing to do whatever it took to accomplish that goal and that is what separates them from the average NBA star.
LeBron advocates for parade after Dodgers win World Series
Of course, LeBron and the Lakers aren’t the only champions in the city of Los Angeles as the Dodgers captured their first World Series championship since 1988. The pandemic has caused a major change in celebration, but James still is hoping for a big joint celebration for the two franchises.
He pleaded for a parade on his Twitter account before acknowledging that he knows it can’t happen because of COVID restrictions. Nonetheless, James said Los Angeles is now the city of champions and a celebration deserving of these franchises is in order once things return to normal.
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