While there are a lot of extremely talented players in the NBA, when it comes to competitiveness you’re unlikely to find two players with more desire than that of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
Not only are they both uber-competitive, they just so happen to be two of the greatest to ever grace an NBA court. So it only makes sense that they hold a natural rivalry against each other and it’s not driven by the media.
According to Bleacher Report, after Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2010 NBA Championship the Black Mamba sent a text message to would-be free agent LeBron James, taunting him suggesting he and his Lakers would yet again be atop the league no matter where James signed.
“Go ahead and get another MVP, if you want,” Bryant texted. “And find the city you want to live in. But we’re going to win the championship. Don’t worry about it.”
Of course, there’s an understandable amount of friendly banter in there as well, though Kobe Bryant’s competitive spirit is well known and he’s admitted before that is has cost him friendships, though on the flip side stated he doesn’t play basketball to make friends.
LeBron James of course would go on to spurn the Cleveland Cavaliers and sign with the Miami Heat, eventually losing the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers had another impressive regular season, but like James and the Heat, ran into the Mavericks buzz-saw in the Western Conference semifinals.
Given that, it doesn’t appear as if either player had the last laugh though James can at least say his team made it further and didn’t get swept like Bryant and the Lakers.