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"When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.”

- LeBron James

Ten Greatest in NBA History.

7. KOBE BRYANT

Michael Jordan Lite (not an insult, quite the contrary) and the most durable guard in NBA History. In fact, his longevity is a major reason for his place on this list.

In the post-Jordan era, no player has been more consistently great than this guy. I remember watching him shoot air ball after air ball in that 1997 Utah series, knowing that it could go one of two ways - break him or make him.

We know what happened, and the rest is history, as he consistently defied the odds and showed his mental toughness in the face of numerous controversies and scandals: scrutiny from most fans after being dubbed the next Michael Jordan, the rape allegations, the beef and split-up with Shaq/Phil, the early round exists pre-Gasol trade, and bouncing back from the devastating Finals loss against the 2008 Celtics.

Now he’s facing perhaps the biggest challenge in his career - overcoming an injury that had him sidelined for about a year. If he can pull this one off, there’s nothing this guy can’t do.

Given his age and the team roster he’s stuck with, I doubt he’ll be moving up this list, but he’s proven us wrong in the past. As a Lakers fan, I hope he can do it again.

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