Kobe Bryant and LeBron James recently attended a special event in Cleveland for the NBA. At the event, the two basketball legends shared a secret that had nothing to do with basketball.

While talking with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant shared a secret with his friend that had nothing to do with basketball.

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In both basketball and life, Kobe Bryant was known for his “mamba attitude.” He has coached players like Kevin Durant, D’Angelo Russell, Dwyane Wade, and others in and out of the NBA. Bryant gave LeBron James some advise early in his career that has served as a guidepost for The King for years.

Bryant is one of those transcendent figures who is adored as much in death as he was in life. His competitive zeal was renowned, and he shaped the NBA into what it is today. Bryant inspired and mentored a generation of basketball players, from his Hollywood-like last game to impressing upon younger players the necessity of paying attention to the details. James was one of the first.

Kobe Bryant modeled himself after the greatest of all time.

Kobe Bryant was drafted out of high school in 1996 and joined the NBA during Michael Jordan’s illustrious era. Bryant created his “Black Mamba” persona by molding and shaping what he learnt about Jordan’s work ethic. As a result, the mamba mindset was born.

Despite being a tough opponent, Bryant was also a willing mentor. Hundreds of gamers have submitted stories about their interactions with him after his passing in January 2020. Young players like Devin Booker, whose rookie season happened to coincide with Bryant’s last season, model aspects of their game after Bryant’s. Trae Young joined the NBA after the Black Mamba retired and credited the Hall of Famer for teaching him valuable skills.

Despite the fact that they joined the NBA almost a decade apart, Bryant and LeBron James had a special connection.

What advise did Kobe Bryant provide to LeBron James?

LeBron James and Kobe Bryant together at Bryant's last All-Star Game appearance in 2016

LeBron James and Kobe Bryant together at Bryant's last All-Star Game appearance in 2016 On February 14, 2016, in Toronto, LeBron James (23) of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Eastern Conference and Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference prepare for the start of the NBA All-Star Game 2016. | Getty Images/Elsa

LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are at the top of the list when it comes to linked legacies. The only thing lacking from their on-court clashes was a matchup in the NBA Finals. Until the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics, respectively, failed to get the message, the chances favored that meeting occurring in both 2009 and 2010.

In Matt Sullivan’s book Can’t Knock the Hustle, James reveals the one thing Bryant said to him that stuck with him the most. It had nothing to do with basketball, competition, achieving greatness, or remaining focused on the job at hand. Rather, it was about a life lesson.

“Don’t put your happiness in basketball because it won’t happen. Make sure you have a good balance in your life and that you have something to look forward to after the game is over.”

LeBron James recalls Kobe Bryant’s guidance.

Bryant was mostly alluding to life after the NBA lights went off. The message’s timeliness was what set it apart.

During the summer of 2001, James, then 17 years old, attended a basketball camp. At the time, he was a rising junior in high school. Bryant, a wise 22-year-old sage, spoke at the camp as one of the speakers.

What did James do with the advise he received?


LeBron James has four NBA titles under his belt, one less than Kobe Bryant. More importantly, James has taken Bryant’s advise on achieving a work-life balance to heart.

Aside from receiving accolades on the field, James made sure to leave a lasting legacy off it. He started the More Than a Vote campaign to raise awareness about the importance of voting rights. The group is now concentrating its efforts on criminal justice reform.

James has made over $1 billion in salary and sponsorships as a business figure. He appeared in a remake of Michael Jordan’s 1996 blockbuster film Space Jam, which received mixed reviews. However, according to Box Office Mojo, it opened at $31.1 million in the United States and has grossed $65.6 million domestically and $135.6 million globally until August 8.

Despite the fact that there was never a LeBron-Kobe Finals, the superstars met 22 times during the regular season. In those games, James won 16–6 and averaged 28.2 points per game. In their head-to-head games, Bryant averaged 24.6 points each night.

In the All-Star Game, though, Kobe had an edge. The duo played one other nine times during the midseason exhibition, with Bryant’s Western Conference defeating James’ Eastern Conference in six of the matchups. They were both chosen three times, but Bryant was unable to participate due to injury.

Both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics saw the pair compete together. USA Basketball went 16–0 and won two gold medals in the Olympics.

Kobe Bryant had off-the-court problems, but he had a huge influence on future players. That is something LeBron James can testify to.

Basketball Reference and Stathead provided the statistics.

RELATED: The Clippers’ Embarrassing Reason for Not Drafting Kobe Bryant Astounds Kobe Bryant

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