It is like LeBron James has been running after Kobe Bryant his entire life. When he was in high school, like Bryant, he worked hard to be a formidable recruit for the NBA straight out of high school. That happened. He also trekked from the east coast to the left coast to lead the Lakers, just like Bryant. And as of last night, he topped one of his heroes as the 3rd all-time scoring player in the history of the league.
Playing against the Philadelphia 76ers, he maxed the now deceased Bryant by beating his career record of 33,643 points.
Bryant was one of five killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in Calabasas, CA. But his last posts on Twitter congratulated James.
After the game, LeBron communicated how overwhelmed he was about the experience.
He did reminisce about meeting Bryant as a kid, back in 2002. He actually met him in Philadelphia, and while there Bryant gave him a special red, white and blue colorway pair of sneakers with his signature. Though the two did not wear the same size (Bryant wore a size 14 and James size 15), he rocked them anyway.
“It’s just too much. It’s too much. The story is too much,” James said of Bryant. “It doesn’t make sense. Just to make a long story short, now I’m here in a Lakers uniform, in Philadelphia, where he’s from. The first time I ever met him, gave me his shoes on All-Star Weekend. It’s surreal. It doesn’t make any sense, but the universe just puts things in your life. And I guess when you live in the right way, when you just give it everything to whatever you’re doing, things happen organically.
“And it’s not supposed to make sense, but it just happens. And I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers. The man has two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It’s just crazy.”
No words yet from Lebron on what he feels now, but we know his heart is as broken as ours is.