LeBron James delivered a tribute to Kobe Bryant on the night that he passed the retired star on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Saturday night in Philadlephia, LeBron needed 18 points to pass Kobe on the career scoring list. He hit that mark in the second half of the game and got a standing ovation during a timeout afterwards.
What was cool is that LeBron wrote a message on his shoes to honor Kobe. James wrote “Mamba 4 Life” and had the numbers 8 and 24, along with Kobe’s initials, written on the shoe. Kobe wore both 8 and 24 during his playing career.
— ESPN (@espn) January 26, 2020
James also surpassed Kobe while a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, which is another cool twist.
Passing Kobe had to be special for James considering LeBron’s history. In high school, James got the opportunity to meet Kobe and actually wore a pair of the former Lakers legend’s shoes during a game. James called that his “most fond moment” with Kobe.
LeBron has said wearing the USA Kobe Two in High School, of which there were less than 30 pairs made, was his “most fond moment” with Kobe:
“I had an opportunity to go meet him, and he gave me a pair of his shoes. I actually wore them in a game against Oak Hill, against Melo.” pic.twitter.com/IOiSCGPWvp
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) January 26, 2020
Though Kobe and LeBron competed against each other for several years prior to Kobe’s retirement, Bryant was ecstatic about James choosing to sign with the Lakers. Bryant probably knew James would eventually pass him on the list, so seeing James do it in a Lakers uniform was probably a nice consolation.
Here was Kobe’s tweet on the matter:
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020