Before heading into their head-to-head showdown at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James talked about what it has been like watching Kobe Bryant during his last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Although LeBron hasn’t been able to watch every game for obvious reasons, James admits it has been an emotional experience watching his former Team USA teammate during his NBA farewell tour via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
“Anytime I even watch his games, even when I’m not playing him, it’s always, like, very emotional just knowing it’s his last hurrah,” James said after the Cavs’ 120-100 win over the Sacramento Kings. “And he’s done so much, not only for the Lakers organization, but for me as a kid growing up watching Kobe and things of that nature and also competing against him.
“So it’s going to be really cool to see him on Wednesday for sure, and hopefully — I know our fans — they’re going to give him a great reception, well-deserved.”
The Cavaliers organization will honor Bryant with a tribute video on Wednesday night much like many other teams around the league have this season. This game will be the last time Kobe faces off against LeBron in Cleveland, but the final matchup between the two superstars will take place on March 10.
The Lakers will host the Cavaliers on March 10 at Staples Center in Los Angeles followed by Kobe’s last game against Phil Jackson’s New York Knicks on March 13. The last time Bryant faced the Cavaliers in Los Angeles, the five-time NBA champion dished out a career-high 17 assists.
Bryant and LeBron will also go head-to-head this on Sun. Feb. 14 during the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto. Kobe was the lead vote-getter with 1,891,614 votes while LeBron led the way in the Eastern Conference with 1,089,206 votes.