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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Robert Marvi

Antawn Jamison compares the mindset of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant

Over the last 20 years or so, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have been arguably the two greatest players in the NBA.

Their careers and primes had some overlap, and during the mid-to-late 2000s, there was debate as to who was the better player.

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Although there seems to be a consensus that James is the better player, or at least has had the better career, Bryant holds a major edge over him with his five world championships and 5-2 record in the NBA Finals.

James, on the other hand, is 4-6 in the championship series, which has led some to chip away at his legacy and historical standing.

Former NBA All-Star Antawn Jamison is one of the luckiest men in the world. He was a teammate with both legends. He said that while Bryant’s mentality was similar to that of Michael Jordan, who was a killer, James is more happy-go-lucky.

Via Lakers Daily:

“At that particular time, Bron needed to go into a situation like he did with Miami,” Jamison said of James’ first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. “… The difference between Bron and Kobe, Kobe was more like Mike, just the mentality. Bron was more like happy-go-lucky, just still having a good time, all the handshakes they was doing. So, I think Bron needed to go there with Pat Riley and learn about the mentality that Mike and Magic (Johnson) and those guys — D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) already had it, so I think by those couple years, by him being down there in Miami, it took him to the next level. … And from what I heard after he got back from Miami from the people with the organization, you could tell he came back different.”

When James first went to the Miami Heat in 2010, he was ringless and was developing a reputation as someone who perhaps didn’t have what it took to come through under extreme pressure.

But after a messy maiden voyage with Miami, he led the team to back-to-back titles, which included a virtuoso performance in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals.

Once James returned to Cleveland in 2014, he was ready to deliver the city its first world championship in any major sport since the Cleveland Browns had won the NFL title in 1964.

With the recent additions his Los Angeles Lakers have made, James’ attention is on finding a way to win his fifth ring, which would be the Lakers’ 18th.

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