LeBron James has set the NBA alight ever since joining the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. The three-time NBA champion has led the Lakers to a 24-3 record so far this season, the joint-best in the NBA. While some people were quick to write LeBron James off prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, the 15-time NBA All-Star has put those doubts to bed, and with some conviction.
Interestingly, LeBron James visited the hotel Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was staying in, after an All-Star game in Philadelphia during James' junior year in high school. Little did he know that it would be one of his most memorable moments in Philadelphia. After witnessing Kobe Bryant dominate during an All-Star game, LeBron James received a pair of sneakers after the game (from Kobe himself).
“My junior year in high school, the All-Star game was in Philadelphia [February 10, 2002]. I went to the hotel before All-Star Saturday, and [Kobe Bryant] gave me a pair of shoes. That was one of the craziest things for me as a high school junior,” James said.
Kobe Bryant started for the Western Conference team that weekend, along with Shaquille O'Neal, Steve Francis, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. However, the Lakers legend didn't just start in the All-Star matchup of 2002. Kobe Bryant finished with figures of 31 points, five rebounds and five assists on the night. The pro-Allen Iversen crowd booed Kobe Bryant during the game, despite him being a native of Philadelphia. Kobe Bryant, however, had the last laugh as the West emerged 135-120 winners against the East. Kobe Bryant also snapped up the MVP award that night.