Did you guys know that Kobe Bryant likes playing one-on-one? I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Shockingly, dumbfoundingly true.
If you don’t believe me, just look at all of this stuff he’s saying about playing one-on-one and also the entirety of his NBA career. Along with saying that one-on-one is “what I do,” he also claims he’s never lost a single one-on-one game. From ESPN:
Who would you most like to play one-on-one, either active or retired?
Jordan. No question.
What would happen?
I’m not sure, but he would win some and I would win some in a seven-game series. It would probably come down to the last few shots
You versus LeBron? Who wins?
Me. No question. As far as one-on-one, I’m the best to ever do it.
Damn. That’s pretty confident.
LeBron is a terrific all-around, five-on-five basketball player who’s an all-time great. But I’d get him.
Who could get you?
Kevin Durant is the guy that would give me the most trouble. With his length and ability to use the dribble he’d be tough.
I always wanted to see you play Tracy McGrady.
I played T-Mac. I cooked him. Roasted him. Wasn’t even close. Ask him, he’ll tell you. When I was about 20, we were in Germany doing some promotional stuff for that other sneaker company and we played basketball everyday. We were in the gym all the time. We played three games of one-on-one to 11. I won all three games. One game I won 11-2. After the third game he said he had back spasms and couldn’t play anymore.
His back bothered him for most of his career.
Well, now you know.
What about Kyrie Irving?
[Huge smile, laugh.] Kyrie’s my boy, but he knows he doesn’t have anything for me. He doesn’t want to see me. But it would be fun. I’ve beaten a lot of guys one-on-one, like Reggie Miller and Grant Hill. I used to play Caron Butler all the time in practice when he was with the Lakers. When I was a rookie I used to get Nick van Exel and Eddie Jones. They know. They’ll tell you. They used to come at me hard but I wasn’t having that. I love going one-on-one with someone. That’s what I do. I’ve never lost. It’s a whole different game, just to have them right in front you and be able to do whatever you want.
So much good stuff here — calling adidas “that other sneaker company” now that he’s a Nike guy, Kobe bragging that he beat one-on-one legends like Caron Butler, Eddie Jones and Reggie Miller, him trashing Tracy McGrady as a way of settling that old “Kobe or McGrady” debate from 2K5 (haha) — it’s just classic Kobe. I could read Kobe quotes about being the best one-on-one player of all-time for at least three hours.
It’s just too bad the Lakers waived Chris Douglas-Roberts in the preseason. Just like Kobe, he says he’s never lost a game of one-on-one, so it would be interesting to see who’s really the best like when a couple of grownups get their hands on a Nintendo 64 to figure out who’s better at “Mario Kart 64.”
Or maybe Chris Doug-Rob beat Kobe and this is all part of an elaborate cover-up to keep Kobe’s record pristine. Let’s get Deadspin on it because I might have just unearthed the greatest conspiracy of our lifetime.