The Cleveland Cavaliers are gearing up to face the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night in what will be the final time LeBron James will face off against Kobe Bryant on his home floor in Cleveland. Since Bryant plans to retire after this season, James started reminiscing on some of his favorite Black Mamba moments over the years, and he ended up telling a pretty cool story we’d never heard before.
In 2002, James was still in high school and on the road playing in a basketball tournament in New Jersey. Bryant was in Philadelphia for the NBA All-Star Game, but he made a quick trip to Jersey to meet James.
“I had an opportunity to go meet him, and he gave me a pair of his shoes, and I actually wore them in a game against Oak Hill, against Melo [Carmelo Anthony], actually,” James told ESPN. “So, six degrees of separation right there.”
The shoe was an adidas model, as Bryant was still a member of the Three Stripes back then. And though James says he no longer has the shoes, the fact that he wore them in a game against Anthony, another future NBA Hall of Famer, is all sorts of wild.