NBA

LeBron James reveals big regret after hearing Kobe Bryant retirement news

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Kobe Bryant's revelation this week that the 2015-16 NBA season will be his last has, as you would expect, elicited responses from the great and the good of the basketball world.

From Shaq and Kevin Durant to Reggie Miller and Mark Jackson, the NBA family has come out to praise the career of one of the finest players of his, or any, generation.

Regret

And now another player who can lay handle to that claim, LeBron James, has had his say on Bryant's retirement plans - revealing his biggest regret from the time he and the Black Mamba have shared the NBA hardwood.

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"I didn't hold up my end of the bargain in 2009 for the fans, for us, to meet in the Finals," James said, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

"I know the world wanted to see it. I wanted it, we wanted it. He held up his end and I didn't hold up my end, and I hate that. I hate that that didn't happen."

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Back in '09, with the Cavs and Lakers holding the best two regular-season records, there was huge anticipation that Bryant and LeBron could be about to put on a show in the NBA Finals.

Close, but not close enough

Unfortunately for James, and the watching world, the Cavaliers were beaten by the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals - putting an end to the prospect of the future Hall of Famers going head-to-head in the season finale.

And, despite either Kobe or LeBron having been present in an NBA Finals series since 2007, that 2009 was the closest the scenario has ever come to playing out.

"And that definitely sucks," explained James. "Not only for us two being competitors, wanting to go against each other in the Finals, but also for the fans."

With Kobe and the Lakers nowhere near playoff contention this season, we can already write off any chance of the dream ending of a Kobe-James 2015-16 Finals.

Still, even with Bryant struggling for form in his final year, you can see from James' comments just how influential the Lakers star has been for the current generation of NBA superstars.

NBA fans: Who will be looked back on as the better player; Kobe or LeBron? Have your say in the comments below...

Topics:
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
LeBron James
Kobe Bryant

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