He wrote, "Black Mamba! I remember watching him closely when I was in high school, college, and the NBA. This dude was unreal! I remember the day I heard he was retiring, and I selfishly thought, 'No!' Who will I chase? Whose stats will I check as soon as my game ends? I knew inside I'll never be the same when he retired. A lot of you all forget very easy that this dude was an absolute beast! Kobe Bryant, thank you for your greatness!"
Maybe it has something to do with Bryant's 40th birthday on Thursday, but putting his and Wade's name in the same sentence usually sparks debate over who the next best shooting guard in NBA history is, behind Michael Jordan. Kobe towers above Dwyane in almost every category (championships, points, missed shots), but the latter has a few good years left.
What's certain is the many memorable face-offs that had went down between two of the game's biggest backcourt legends, which have paved the way for the likes of Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell to eventually take over the league. FHM brings to mind Bryant and Wade's most heated battles, in no particular order.
MIA 89-87 LAL
Wade (35 pts 13-25 fg 6 reb 3 ast 3 stl 2 blk) not only won the one-on-one battle against Bryant (28 pts 12-24 fg 3 reb 3 ast), but the Miami Heat also limited the reigning Western Conference champions Los Angeles Lakers to their lowest scoring total that season.
LAL 124-118 MIA
Kobe (25 pts 4 reb 8 ast 1 blk) did just enough for the Lakers to end Heat's four-game winning streak back then, but he almost wasn't able to stop Dwyane (35 pts 12-25 fg 5 reb 8 ast 4 stl).
LAL 108-107 MIA
Bryant (33 pts 12-25 fg 7 reb 3 ast 3 stl) capped off his individual victory by banking in a game-winning three-point shot over Wade (26 pts 8 reb 9 ast) to extend Los Angeles' winning streak to eight at the time.
LAL 100-92 MIA
Kobe scored 12 of his 37 points in the last eight and a half minutes (13-24 fg 3 reb 4 ast 1 stl) to snap Miami and Dwyane's (34 pts 7 ast 1 blk) four-game winning streak. This was the first time the Lakers triumphed over the Heat since trading Shaquille O'Neal in 2004.
There were countless times where Bryant and Wade got each other's number, and some content creators on YouTube made sure there was video proof of the fierce competition between two of the best shooting guards in NBA history.