Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are playing host to the Miami Heat tomorrow afternoon in a nationally televised showdown between NBA powers. Bryant and Heat captain Dwyane Wade are two of the game's biggest names, its two very best shooting guards, and the leaders of two of the league's most hyped teams -- but Bryant said today that he doesn't see Wade as a "rival" per se.
"He's too young," Bryant told ESPN Los Angeles today. "He's too young. When I came into the league, he was in elementary school."
Bryant says that throughout his 16-year NBA career, he's never really had a rival, and it's "a little late in the game" for him to find one now. When asked about his matchup with LeBron James, he again denied a rivalry with the Miami superstar.
"Not for me," Bryant said. "I get up for everybody just the same, to be honest. It's hard for me to turn my meter up any higher than it normally is."
Bryant's Lakers (22-14) take on Wade's and James' Heat (28-8) at 3:30 p.m. Eastern tomorrow. They may not be rivals, but they're playing for bragging rights on the national stage.