You don’t have to be a fan of Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. I’m not. You don’t have to be a fan of LeBron James and the Miami Heat. I am. It’s well within your right not to be. But if you’re a fan of the game of basketball above anything else, tuning in tonight at 10:30 EST on TNT is likely a forgone conclusion. Representing two different generations, the basketball head in me appreciates these match ups off the strength there aren’t many more left. We may never witness the mythical Kobe/’Bron Finals once thought of as imminent, nor see the return of Nike’s brilliant puppet commercials.
Still, it’s Kobe. It’s LeBron. It’s their dope sneakers. And while the game will be decided by much more than these two, they are the headlines for obvious reasons. With styles of play as polar opposite as they are transcendent, Bryant and James – who at separate points in their careers served as the most hated player in the game (Kobe post-Shaq until the ’08 title appearance and Bron post-Decision until last June) – will ultimately supplant themselves as two of the 10 best players to ever step foot in NBA arenas. And you know what? Being able to watch that live is a privilege. Regardless of how much shade either fan base inevitably heaves at the other.
Appreciate these moments. Seriously.
Young Jeezy – “24,23 (Kobe,LeBron)”
Bonus: Speaking of Bean, the marketing never stops with Nike Basketball’s partnership with Wieden + Kennedy. The #CountOnKobe campaign includes a film set to release tonight during the game. Despite a playing career of close to 20 years, the visual will show how Kobe still has what it takes to perform at a high level in-between the lines off sheer determination, work ethic and of course, his latest signature shoe, the Zoom Kobe 8 System.