While appearing as a guest on the Club Shay Shay podcast, Metta Sandiford-Artest revealed why he chose to play with Kobe Bryant over LeBron James.
Superstars teaming up to win an NBA championship is not a new concept in the league. Whether it was Kevin Durant teaming up with the Splash Brothers or LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in Miami.
Most recently, being James Harden being recruited by Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, and Russell Westbrook joining the LA Lakers.
However, one such power move failed in the past involving Metta Sandiford-Artest and LeBron James. James tried recruiting Artest to win his 1st NBA championship during his initial years with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
However, the 2004 DPOY declined the offer to everyone’s surprise. Though, Artest did go on to team up with Kobe Bryant in LA later.
While speaking to host Shannon Sharpe, the former NBA champion revealed why he chose Kobe over LeBron.
Metta Sandiford-Artest gives a detailed explanation about joining forces with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant
During the podcast, Shannon Sharpe discussed a hypothetical situation, asking Artest if he was a 26-year old today which team would he join. To which Artest replied, he would never join forces with an All-Star. The former All-Star was very high on his competitive nature.
When prodded further by Shannon that he could not win a title going solo against the likes of a Brooklyn Nets or a LA Lakers. Artest narrated a story about how LeBron James had once called him to join him in Cleveland.
“I’m honored. LeBron James hit me up one time when he was with the Cavs. I remember I was excited because LeBron, I’m a big fan, even if younger. But before that, I didn’t want to play with Kobe, I didn’t wanna play with Bron. I wanted to play against these guys. So I’s like, I can’t come play because of many reasons.”
Metta shares why he played with Kobe instead of LeBron pic.twitter.com/kOIdOU0nTd
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) August 12, 2021
While talking about joining the Lakers, Artest said, “I was trying to go to Detroit and in the end, that’s where I wanted to go. But when no teams wanted me, I didn’t call back LeBron. So then the Lakers called, and I just got to go because I’m not going to get contract.”
Artest joining the Lakers did prove to be fruitful for him as he would win a championship alongside Kobe Bryant. However, it would have been interesting to see if Artest’s teaming up with LeBron would have yielded the same results as his teaming up with Kobe in LA did.