The Lakers host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night for the first time in 2012. In fact, the last time these two teams met was the day before the All-Star break last season when Cleveland shocked the Lakers with a 104-99 victory.
However, things are very different for both of these teams this season. After winning the NBA Draft lottery the Cavs are loaded with a new young point guard in Kyrie Irving. The Lakers have a gaggle of new bench players, as well as a new head coach.
That head coach, Mike Brown, ironically coached in Cleveland before being hired by the Lakers prior to this season. While in Cleveland, Brown had the opportunity to coach LeBron James. Now that he’s with the Lakers, he gets to lead another of the league’s top superstars, Kobe Bryant.
In a recent interview with Kevin Ding of the O.C. Register, Brown explained what he felt was the biggest difference between Bryant and James.
“There’s just a different feel to the two guys. They’re different personalities. LeBron, he’s a guy who likes to laugh and joke. He knows obviously there’s a time to be serious, but he’s youthful. Kobe is not as much. Kobe’s more serious-minded and so on and so forth. But Kobe knows how to have fun in his own way, too.”
Well not to be too blunt here but – duh. There’s no doubt Bryant and James are two of the greatest talents to ever play the game, but the similarities stop there. Bryant’s determination and drive have basically consumed his career, and have been both helpful and harmful to him at times. It’s hard to argue that James is less motivated than Bryant, he just reacts differently to certain situations.
Brown is one of the only people on the planet that has had a close relationship with both superstars, so hearing his perspective on the situation is particularly interesting.
Fans will get a chance to see the similarities and differences between James and Bryant on the court next Thursday when the Lakers and Heat square off in Miami.