Kobe vs. LeBron: The Finale


As a true NBA fan, Kobe vs. LeBron’s final matchup was more important than the entire NBA Finals series, the Golden State Warriors potential 73rd win, and All-Star Weekend.

From the first time LeBron James took Kobe Bryant to the hole and Kobe responded with his up and under on LeBron, The Finale was as exciting as everyone wished. Even if some of the first quarter turned its attention to the exciting underdog play of 32-year-old rookie, Marcelo Huertas, the anticipation was 100% on Kobe and LeBron.

Something magical happened on that court. This was two players in their thirties playing like they were 25 again. All season it’s looked like Kobe could collapse on the court at any second. Not this time though. There was nothing but smiles and energy coming off of him. The NBA hasn’t seen Kobe put on a show like he did in a few years.

For a player who averages 16 points per game, Kobe finished the first half with 15 points, going 7-10 shooting. It was point for point the entire first half, as LeBron finished with 13 points and if you had the pleasure to watch, you saw that this game was, “anything you can do, I can do better.”

The way Kobe has described his pain this season, there are few people who would push it out this long and deal with the problems Kobe has. But this wasn’t 37-year-old Kobe. This was young Kobe Bryant, who could outscore any player at any time. Yes, some of this came because Kobe loves to give the fans what they paid for, and they paid to see Kobe and LeBron battle. No one cared about the score, or just about any other aspect of the game except the superstars within it.

What solidified Kobe’s young play was the fact that the Cavaliers had to double-team him for most of the second half. Even when it looked like it was all over for Kobe, as he was being evaluated during the fourth quarter for a soar shoulder, he made it a point to return to the game. As he said earlier this season, he never knows night to night if he has “it” and if he does how long it will last. Well in this Finale, he had “it,” all of “it.”

On LeBron’s end, we missed the aggressive LeBron. That doesn’t mean that LeBron has played soft, or hasn’t attacked the basket or take shots. But the last time I watched LeBron throw down three powerful dunks in a game, he was wearing a Miami Heat jersey. His 24 points alongside Kobe’s 26 points proved that they wanted to supply an incredible finale, and they did.

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What each and every fan wanted, they received. Kobe and LeBron put on a show for one final game. It wasn’t 40 points for each player shows, but for two players past their prime, it was a battle for the ages. There’s no way that most of you reading this didn’t swing your arms and yell “ohhhhh!” at least once during the game. Yes, a last second shot by Kobe or LeBron would’ve been the perfect ending to an almost perfect rivalry, but we all took what we got and enjoyed every second of it. But watching Kobe walk to the locker room with tears in his eyes may have given you the chills any game winning shot could.

“It’s something that the fans, myself, and Kobe will never forget.” –LeBron James.