LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

LeBron James reveals his one wish after playing Kobe for final time

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Thursday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers was billed as the final ever meeting between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, and the two legends of the game didn't disappoint.

The two stars combined to scored 50 points in the Staples Center contest with the soon-to-be-retiring Laker actually outscoring his Cavs opponents 26 points to 24.

One final time

Seeing James and Bryant share the hardwood for one final time was a great moment for the fans, but, speaking after the 120-108 Cleveland win, both players made clear their gratitude too.

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"It was just fun," Bryant told reporters after the game, via "I enjoy the physicality of it.

"Playing against him is fun because of his size. It's always fun to bump with him and to have that physicality, backing him down and driving and bumping. That's fun."

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For James, meanwhile, last night's game was clearly a very special moment in his own career:

"It was everything for a competitor like myself," James said. "I know he was not taking this game off for sure, and I definitely wasn't taking it off. It was great to be out there."

One wish

The pair have met 22 times during their respective NBA careers and Thursday's game was one of the most fun to watch. For LeBron, though, he wishes it didn't have to be the last:

"I wish I could play against him every single night," said the four-time NBA MVP.

"Just that competitive juice, that feeling of just going against one of the greatest, you can never take that for granted."

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe put aside pain in his shoulder to play in the game and, in a primetime slot, rolled back the years to go toe-to-toe with his fellow future Hall of Famer. 

The veteran Lakers star even managed to leave James clutching at air with a nice turnaround pump-fake during the game.


With the Lakers having been officially eliminated from playoff contention this week, this really was the last time Kobe and LeBron will compete in an NBA setting. 

While it can't quite match a playoff matchup for intensity - the duo have never met in the postseason - it was a fitting way to sign off between two leading lights of their respective generations.

There is clearly a huge level of mutual respect between the pair, but it was left to Kobe to sign off the memorable night as only he could.

"It's not a rivalry," explained the 20-year vet. "But I wouldn't say it's because we like each other too much...I don't like anybody that much."

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

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