Kobe Bryant closes out his first game against LeBron in LA perfectly. He sprained his wrist during the course of the game and went 1/11 from the field after the injury. Yet when the team needed him the most he shows up and knocks down three straight jumpers. January 12, 2006.
It was 10 years ago, and Kobe showed his class against young LeBron James.
With Smush Parker, Kwame Brown and Chris Mihm, Bryant scored 27 points and Lakers won against Cleveland Cavaliers 99-98. Check the boxscore.
Unfortunately, that year, Los Angeles Lakers lost NBA Western Conference First Round (3-4) versus Phoenix Suns, and Cleveland Cavaliers lost NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals (3-4) versus Detroit Pistons.
The Miami Heat were crowned NBA champions, defeating the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals, 4–2.
That was the first NBA Championship for Dwyane Wade and fourth for Shaquille O’Neal.
Since LeBron James made the NBA Finals in 2007, every Finals since then has included either Kobe Bryant or LeBron, but never both of them.
The two greatest players to… never meet in the NBA Finals, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.