Game recognizes game. This quote has been used non-stop but it’s extremely real; you can ask anybody in the NBA. The biggest proof of that is the praises players throw at each other when they are at the top, competing to win the title.
One of the most memorable cases was the one involving Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. The pair were fierce competitors while both were part of the league, but even in their rivalry, they had big respect for each other. We never got to see them clashing in the Finals, but we did see them playing together for Team USA.
They had to sacrifice a lot and give all they had to become the great players that everybody respects now. Coach Mike Krzyzewski had the honor to coach them in several international tournaments and he never hesitated to show his admiration towards Kobe and LeBron. He knew the path they picked wasn’t easy, but it was the right one for them to fulfill their potential and become great players.
“Very lonely lives. When everybody‘s partying, they’re in the gym. By themselves. You become a star, but teammates don’t love you because they’re trying to make it, too. There’s jealousy. But they wouldn’t trade it for the world,” he said on LeBron and Kobe growing up.
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These dudes are now considered two of the best players the world has seen. Bryant and James are part of several GOAT debates. Something that they had in common was that they wanted to be great from a young age and they work very hard until they reach that goal.
If that was a lonely life, they learned that all the hard work paid off. Kobe left this world as one of the greatest ever and LeBron has already established himself as one of the basketball GOATs. All the sacrifices they made earned them a successful career full of accolades and joy.