Kobe Bryant passes away, it’s time for Lakers Nation to unite eras

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Kobe Bryant
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

LeBron James came to the NBA straight out of high school. Kobe Bryant had to pave the way.

After the game last night when LeBron James passed Kobe’s scoring mark, LeBron James talked about what Kobe Bryant meant to him from his as far back as high school. It’s a must listen and it does sum up the amount of respect that LeBron has for his NBA colleague.

He stated his feelings via ESPN after the game.

"“I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant. One of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers,” James said Saturday night. “The man got two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It’s just crazy.”"

At this time, it really is important to resist the now common urge to compare eras and careers of these two all-time greats. On Saturday night, James eclipsed one of the more significant milestones in his career passing Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Being a part of one of the biggest fan bases in not just the NBA but of all sports in general, Lakers Nation needs to celebrate the great history of the 20 years of two separate eras of Kobe Bryant in two separate jerseys. That’s history. That’s a part of the great lineage that is the Los Angeles Lakers franchise that spans 60 years.

Just as you celebrate Kobe Bryant, enjoy the current era of LeBron James’ journey and appreciate his part in breathing life back into a franchise that was struggling.

With all the comparisons between LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and even Michael Jordan with the G.O.A.T. conversations, there are similarities with these players, but there are many more differences. No matter what those are, the admiration, love and respect of the game are what all basketball fans should focus on.

Being great men that influence other people around the world is what’s important. Statistics are unimportant. But all three men actually influenced each other.

Kobe actually influenced LeBron James by paving the way for high school players to have a chance to BE drafted in the NBA. In the 90’s there was no one and dones or playing overseas like things go today.

They competed against each other and trust Lake Show Life on this point if not anything else. Kobe Bryant made LeBron James a better player through competition. Why? Because of Bryant’s competitive drive. If LeBron doesn’t match that intensity, he’s going to get destroyed on the basketball court.

Sometimes, in life, you have to be around people who are better than you at your craft so you can learn. Michael Jordan knew it. Kobe Bryant studied Jordan and took it to the next level. Now it’s up to LeBron to carry on that legacy.

But this is bigger than basketball here. Listen to Jay Williams‘ plea about what’s really important in life and how Kobe Bryant helped him to see that there are bigger things than basketball.

Let’s look back in happier times when these two players help bring back pride to the Olympic team.