He has also led the team to a championship and is therefore in the history books as one of the more important guys in the team’s history.
But there are a few Lakers from the past who are more beloved than James – including Kobe Bryant.
Bryant is seen as the greatest to ever put on the purple and gold by many.
In fact, millions of people think that Bryant is the best basketball player of all time, regardless of team.
One of the COLDEST photos in NBA history 🥶 pic.twitter.com/CXlrLdX3gS
— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) July 19, 2022
Bryant and James grew close during their time in the league together and they had a few stellar appearances when they went one-on-one.
One of those times was during the 2016 All-Star Game when James was given the difficult task of blocking the Black Mamba.
The showdown was all in good fun with both James and Bryant looking playful and excited to be squaring off.
It really was a clash of two titans.
Bryant was one-of-a-kind, a player with unparalleled skill but also unparalleled desire and drive to get it done, again and again, no matter who he was playing against.
It’s a cliche to say but Bryant really did live and breathe basketball.
James has a similar work ethic and he has credited Bryant with inspiring him to have such an outlook on the game.
It’s no surprise that both of these guys pushed themselves so hard, even as they grew older and their bodies started to experience fatigue and wear and tear.
It’s not often we see two athletes like Bryant and James – and it’s not often we see them go toe-to-toe on the floor.