4. LeBron James does an identical dunk to Kobe Bryant
On February 6th, 2020 the world was still in mourning over the untimely death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. However, for a few brief moments, it felt like Kobe had returned.
LeBron James drove up the right side of the court before a powerful takeoff that led him to cruise through the air to the other side of the rim. James finished the dunk by taking the ball from the right side of his body to the left as he spun in the air and threw the ball down behind his head.
In 2001, Kobe, or “Frobe” as some like to refer to the young Kobe, hit the exact same reverse windmill dunk in a game against the Sacramento Kings. It wasn’t just the same dunk, but it was from the same side of the floor, with the same ferocity of LeBron. Even the timing of each movement was identical down to the exact second.
Legendary photographer Andy D. Bernstein captured the iconic photo of LeBron as Bron is laser-focused with his legs spread seemingly 20 feet above the ground. The photo was so epic, LeBron even posted it the next day and was included in Getty Images 2020 Year in Review.
When asked about the dunk, LeBron responded, “Kobe came down, put himself inside my body and gave me that dunk on the break.” The spirit of the Black Mamba will always live on, but on this night he was truly in the building.
LeBron and Kobe had a few iconic moments that season as LeBron and Kobe embraced courtside during a game earlier in the season; a sight you don’t often see between all-time greats. LeBron also passed Kobe Bryant in all-time scoring the night before Kobe’s untimely death as Kobe’s final message was a congratulatory one to LeBron.