LeBron James On Kobe Bryant: ‘I Wanted To Be Just Like Him’
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Since Kobe Bryant announced this will be his final NBA season on Sunday, current and former players have praised what the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard has accomplished in his 20 seasons.

With the Lakers embarking on an eight-game road trip, they will first face the Philadelphia 76ers. After years of being booed by his hometown during the 2001 NBA Finals and 2002 NBA All-Star Game, Kobe is expected to get a warm reception.

Prior to the Lakers-Sixers game, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James was asked about how much Kobe has meant to him, according to Allie Clifton of Fox Sports Ohio:

In addition, LeBron shares he used Kobe as his motivation throughout his career:

While there were big men who came into the NBA straight out of high school, Kobe was the first guard to make the jump. His decision inspired others throughout the years like LeBron and there is mutual respect between the two.

Although there have been fierce battles between the two superstars during the regular season, they have unfortunately never met in the NBA Finals. Since 2007, one of them has made an appearance and have won two championships each during this stretch.

With LeBron having an opportunity to win championships in Cleveland, Kobe is looking to remain relatively healthy and mentor the young core of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. Although Kobe has always wanted to tie Michael Jordan with six championships, playing for one franchise is a rare accomplishment in sports.

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