By CHRIS BROUSSARD
It’s safe to assume that LeBron James and Kobe Bryant haven’t talked privately about giving the world what it wants - the dream NBA Finals matchup between James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers.
But in January, the two superstars talked about giving another gift to the basketball world, or at least to the basketball world’s greatest players.
James and Bryant decided to buy each member of the 2010 NBA All-Star team a pair of custom-made “Beats by Dr. Dre’’ Monster headphones. James bought them for his 12 Eastern Conference teammates, while Bryant did the same for the 14 other Western Conference all-stars.
Speaking via blackberry, James and Bryant settled on getting Dre’s $350 “Studio’’ version headphones. They then contacted Dr. Dre and asked him to customize each set of headphones by making them in the All-Star colors (blue for the East, red for the West) and putting each player’s number on them. That cost an extra $100 per set.
James and Bryant presented their gifts in the locker room before the Feb. 14 game. I’m told their stunned teammates “went crazy.’’
This story may be deeper than a nice gesture. It shows that James and Bryant have a legitimate relationship, not one that’s just fabricated in puppet commercials or pushed by Nike’s shoe salesmen.
Maybe it’ll turn into a legitimate rivalry come June, and not just a twice-a-year event buoyed by cute commercials.