Dwyane Wade says Kobe Bryant, LeBron James are toughest players he's faced

Dwyane Wade's Chicago Bulls will face LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, which means it's time for the two of them to talk about how much respect they have for each other again. At shootaround, Wade said James and former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant are the two best players he's ever competed against.

"For me, 1-2, however you want to put 'em, is him and Kobe," Wade said, via 16 Wins A Ring's Spencer Davies. "Obviously I've had to guard Kobe more, so I've been in that battle a little more with Kobe. But LeBron, we've never seen a player like him. We've seen Magic, they got a similar style, but what he does in a game, how he affects games, I haven't seen that. I haven't went against it. But him and Kobe for sure are the hardest and toughest guys that I've ever had to play against."

Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James at an All-Star Game
Three legends. USATSI

That's a typical answer for a question like that, but it's also a reminder that James and Wade had some amazing battles before they teamed up. In 2006, Wade scored 44 points and James had 47 in a Cleveland win:

And in 2009, Wade scored 41 points and James had 42 in a come-from-behind victory for the Cavs:

Wade, by the way, is a game-time decision against the Cavaliers. He missed Monday's 118-111 win against the Charlotte Hornets with a swollen left knee and did not participate in shootaround.

CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories