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What Kobe Bryant texted LeBron James after The Decision

Aug 25, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat

LeBron James’ decision to leave the Heat for the Cavaliers was pretty well-received. People ate up that going-home narrative.

But in 2010, LeBron invited plenty of scrutiny by participating in The Decision TV program, in which he announced his plan to sign with Miami. LeBron became the NBA’s biggest villain, as people lined up to hate on him.

One of the naysayers was Kobe Bryant.

Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report (hat tip: Brian Robb of

Bryant sends James a text message. It goes like this:

“Go ahead and get another MVP, if you want. And find the city you want to live in. But we’re going to win the championship. Don’t worry about it.”

Of course, LeBron James won a couple MVPs – and championships – in Miami. Kobe, meanwhile, has yet to win either since then.

But that’s not really the point. I love Kobe’s competitiveness. I love that he couldn’t think that and use it personally as motivation. He had to text LeBron and share the sentiment.

Kobe is not afraid to challenge anyone. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it doesn’t. But it always makes him compelling.

  1. 88heatnation - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    I wonder how that worked out…

    • avb300 - Aug 25, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Kobe doesn’t have 5 rings. He has 2. MJ was the man in all 6 titles. Lebron was the man in both titles.

      Kobe was lucky enough to get Shaq in his prime along with Glen Rice, Horry, Phil Jackson as coach, etc. Those teams they beat up on in 2000-02 were pathetic.

      The Pacers somehow took them to 6 games in 2000. Kobe does have 4 rings but he’ll never be the complete player Lebron is. What a shame.

      • avb300 - Aug 25, 2014 at 8:44 PM

        5 rings*

      • themars211 - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        Haters gonna hate……this is one of the worst comments ever made on this site. Just ignorant….smh

      • apkyletexas - Aug 25, 2014 at 10:12 PM

        avb300 doesn’t have 15 thumbs up. He has 37 thumbs down.

    • elcapitanfiscal - Aug 26, 2014 at 5:54 AM

      To be fair, Kobe had no idea he was going to get swept by the Mavs that year.

  2. 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    Kobe’s the last of a great dying breed. This new generation is completely *blanked* up. The game will never be the same again when he hangs up those ugly Nike’s for good. (Sorry, LOVE Kobe, but almost every shoe he’s come out with has a look only the buyer could love)

    • tuberippin - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      Care to clarify on what, in your opinion, makes Kobe “the last of a great dying breed?” I’m curious as to what you mean but you really don’t explain it at all.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        You need me to explain to you why water is wet too?

      • tuberippin - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        No, I just want to know why you think a great scorer who did not fundamentally alter ANY concept of modern pro basketball is so unique that “the game will never be the same” when he retires.

    • bigmeechy74 - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Ten years from now people will be saying the same thing like “Lebron is the last of a great dying breed.” Every generation says the same stuff

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        Not the same because when I say that it’s not about their game, its about Kobe’s approach to the game and his fiery competitiveness and laser-focus on becoming the very beat he can be and never getting lazy or comfortable once the paychecks start rolling in, to always strive for greatness, etc. Etc. Etc.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:00 PM

        And to add on top of that today’s generation are a bunch of pansies, whiners, floppers, crybabies and wimps who are all buddy-buddy with the competition. I mean you can be friends like Magic and Bird were but in game you got to want to tear these guys heads off. Kobe’s the last. Everyone wants to ditch the team that drafted them (not that that’s a huge issue in my eyes, if the current team and GM/owner is incompetent) and go play superstar buddy ball.

        Hope that answers your question too, tuberippin

      • pharohislife - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        You Kobe the last of players who aren’t all buddy buddy and want to tear all the oppositions head off. That’s not true, they’re still guys like that. Rajon Rondo, Joakim Noah, Demarcus Cousins.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:16 PM

        Good point pharaoh…

        That’s probably why I put Joakim and Rondo on a very, very high pedistal (Rondo is my favorite current PG and Noah is my favorite current C). Never thought of it like that but there must be a real reason i love those guys. Kobe-like in that regaurd.

    • antistratfordian - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:36 PM

      Players weren’t like Kobe before Kobe and they won’t be like Kobe after Kobe. Why? Because Kobe has a mental disorder.

    • csbanter - Aug 25, 2014 at 7:41 PM

      @00maltliquor we tend to agree to disagree sometimes, but you’re right Kobe is the last of a dying breed as far as his desire to be the best on the court. These days guys lose a game and it doesn’t seem to matter. Lebron will never have that ultimate competitor thing that MJ, Magic, Bird, Kobe has. He just wants everyone in the world to like him. Oh well.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        That’s bull. Most players want to be the best.

        Since you obviously have never played team sports, let me break it down for you. When my high school coach asked, “How many of you think you’re going to play in the NBA?” How many hands do you think went up? Every single one in the locker room.

        Same thing in college. And same thing with every youth team I’ve coached. Every kid wants to make it and again, since you’ve obviously never played sports, many of them work their you-know-what off to do it. But some people simply aren’t as talented as others.

        Have you ever taken into account that Kobe was blessed with a natural athleticism that no matter how hard you try, you could never attain? That has nothing to do with hard work. Have you ever taken into account that his father played in the NBA and was a pro coach? After athleticism, can you imagine having a bigger advantage than the ultimate teacher/role model?


      • csbanter - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:36 PM

        And I should care about you because ……..

    • loungefly74 - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      owned a pair of the Kobe 6. most comfortable shoe ever. and in black n yellow..that snake skin design was sick, yo.

      agree. you gotta put Kobe in the likes of Jerry Rice. Rice had an incredible fire and determination to be the best. there are stories of other players trying to replicate his workout routine with many failing because it was too intense.

      yeah…someone mentioned Rondo and Noah. oh yeah, they are a rare breed. personally, i think KD has the potential to fall in that category.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 26, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        LOL yeah, that was actually the best one he ever came out with, Addidas AND Nike. Those shoes are the reason I said “almost every”.

  3. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Damn, the Kobe love on this site is borderline absurd. He is old and washed up and lottery bound for the next two years. Let’s move onto more current players.

    • arrondior - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      I think the Lakers are actually going to be a bubble Play Off team this year if Kobe can stay healthy. If you look at their roster, It’s not bad. Their biggest problem is going to be defensive efficiency, but they should actually be able to score the ball pretty well.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:31 PM

        Your prediction hinges on an “IF” that is 99% likely NOT to occur.

  4. jasper36 - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    4 years later, and two disaster seasons by Bryant, and a pointless text message makes things compelling. Some how I think that message would have meant the same coming from Baron Davis who has been about as relevant as Bryant has, since that text was sent.

  5. flyrocket31 - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    What did Lebron respond with?

    • therealhtj - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      Kobe, tell me how my taste or something along those lines.

      Start the countdown now for some kobetard responding with something along the lines of 5 rings, the majority of which are over a decade old earned by a dominant Shaq.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Honestly, LeBron probably rolled his eyes, chuckled and muttered under his breath, “yeah, whatever ‘ninja’ “.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        He responded with the “What Should I Do” ad campaign

    • sixerstrong - Aug 26, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      “See you in the playoffs….or not.”

  6. ravenswhat - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    I love Kobe. And this is just another reason to love him. The truly great players never left their teams in the prime of their careers to chase rings. Kobe is apparently a dying breed.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      Because the rings came to Kobe, not vice versa?

    • antistratfordian - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      Well Kobe demanded a trade – so I guess he’s not truly great.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:44 PM

        Did he actually LEAVE?? No. Case closed.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 25, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        He did. Spiritually. He was gone. Plus, he left his first team. He was going to force himself out of any small market.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        Did he now? Haha okay buddy, well then thaaaank you souless Kobe for the extra 2 rings! That’s as much as LeBron has total.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 25, 2014 at 10:24 PM

        You mean Gasol. Thank you Gasol for the extra 2 rings.

      • themars211 - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        haters gonna hate anti….I’m surprised you have time to comment or follow any other players with the level and effort you put into riding LBJ man parts…lmao!!

      • antistratfordian - Aug 25, 2014 at 7:17 PM

        There’s enough of me for everybody to enjoy.

      • divan22 - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:47 PM

        Whether or not Kobe “actually left” is irrelevant. He had every intention of leaving and publicly DEMANDED a trade.

        The only reason he took that back is because of the Pau Gasol trade, so it’s hilarious that Kobe fans try to use LeBron leaving CLE as some sort of black mark against LeBron that he can never overcome.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        Okay anti! Not taking ANYTHING away from either player, but Gasol has as much to do with Kobe getting rings as Chris Bosh does for LBJ.

        YES, they were important pieces to the puzzle, but everyone in their right mind knows Kobe/LeBron would get one eventually, they just needed a little help -LIKE EVERYONE THAT’S EVER WON A CHAMPIONSHIP- so F O H!!! Respectfully…

      • antistratfordian - Aug 25, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        Chris Bosh didn’t lead the Heat in Win Share like Gasol did during both of the Lakers last two ring seasons.

        Chris Bosh didn’t lead his team in PER in the Finals like Gasol did for the Lakers in 2010.

      • bkbell3 - Aug 26, 2014 at 2:48 AM

        Win shares is the stupidest stat this side of WAR.SMH

      • antistratfordian - Aug 26, 2014 at 9:02 PM

        Yeah well his Offensive Rating and Defensive Rating were also superior to Kobe’s. But things like Win Share and PER generally HAVE to be seen as “stupid” to Kobe supporters because if they weren’t he’d just look like a clown.

        Bron was superior to Bosh in WS, ORtg, DRtg and Finals PER for both of his rings.

        Kobe was inferior to Gasol in WS, ORtg, DRtg and Finals PER in 2010.

      • loungefly74 - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        Malt…as usual, laying the smackdown. Get’em!

      • antistratfordian - Aug 26, 2014 at 9:10 PM

        Well, he tries. I like malt, btw – I think he knows that. He’s the best Lakers fan I’ve ever met online, tbh. When I say these things about Kobe I always think, “malt’s probably not going to like this…” But I say it anyway, because I got #mambablood too. Take no prisoners. Lakers fans should be able to appreciate that.

      • loungefly74 - Aug 27, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        he didnt try…he killed you. just like everyone does. you are lame, old man. in fact, you are a liar about many things.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:51 PM

        lol no. you sound super salty. and you’re always sending me messages. every day. you’re jealous, aren’t you?

      • loungefly74 - Aug 28, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        jealous of what? i post several messages…some to critic, compliment, argue, and in your case, to ridicule…which i am very successful at doing. you just happen to say the dumbest crap on this website…

      • antistratfordian - Aug 28, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        you’re like my little brother, always tugging at the back of my shirt

        kobe fans have the worst reputation in all of basketball fandom. they’re irrational and incredibly insecure. that’s you.

  7. eugenesaxe1 - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    We’re still talking about that debacle? OK, here’s what Kobe should’ve said:

    “Shut up n00b.”

  8. blackbirdrising2014 - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    Trash talking basketball players… Cliche.

  9. antistratfordian - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Yeah, remember how Kobe was telling Westbrook and Durant during the 2012 Olympics that their time at the top of the West was over and that he was going to win it all because he got Nash and Dwight… blah blah blah? Yeah, he’s a clown and nobody likes him. He has no friends. True story.

    • themars211 - Aug 25, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      Haters gonna hate….won’t they Anti? lol

      • antistratfordian - Aug 25, 2014 at 7:17 PM

        Hoggers gonna hog. Coattail riders gonna coattail ride.

      • themars211 - Aug 25, 2014 at 8:04 PM

        The irony in you speaking about riding coattails…smh.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:55 PM

        Hoggers gonna hog and coattailers gonna coattail huh?

        That’s pretty messed up! Just cause your main squeeze left South Beach you should bash Wade and Bosh like that! They helped LBJ get those two shiny rings! The nerve!

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:56 PM

        *you shouldn’t

      • loungefly74 - Aug 26, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        *elevator. hahahahaha!

    • bkbell3 - Aug 26, 2014 at 3:02 AM

      Yea, that was a good one anti, and and and westbrook and durant shot right back at him with how many rings they have won,right? Oh wait… smh

      • antistratfordian - Aug 26, 2014 at 9:05 PM

        No, they shot back with, “will you just shut the hell up you arrogant d-bag. nobody likes you.”

  10. themars211 - Aug 25, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Its funny to me how the author and most people interpret that text. To me personally its a sign of respect that Kobe would even send that text to Lebron. A lot of other people changed teams that summer but he knows who the elite players are and LBJ is the only one probably worthy of him texting. Remember he was coming off of back to back championships that summer and the Heat were aiming squarely at the Lakers.

  11. patfic5 - Aug 25, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Kobe would’ve been that delusional…..til the Mavs f’ked that plan up. Hahaha

  12. divan22 - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    What LeBron texted back: LOL!

  13. csbanter - Aug 25, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Kobe battle scars are way more impressive than Lebron. Those Celtics teams were better than OKC and San Antonio, let’s not forget this little 3peat thing LA did, I’m not even going to say anything bout that tiny 81 point game that was bs..right

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