Kobe Bryant: “I’m the best to ever” play one-on-one
“I love going one-on-one with someone. That’s what I do. I’ve never lost,” expressed Kobe Bryant. “It’s a whole different game, just to have them right in front of you and be able to do whatever you want.”
“Who would you most like to play one-on-one, either active or retired?” asked ESPN’s Chris Palmer.
“Jordan. No question,” replied the Kobe Bryant, who as a fearless 19-year old dropped 33 points in a game against a veteran Michael Jordan, during his second-year in the league.
“I wasn’t scared or nervous back then when I played Jordan. He (Michael Jordan) looked at me like he was going to f--- me up but I had to let him know that…(I wasn’t) like all those other guys he played against… I was there to compete and I did,” Kobe Bryant recalled the game against Michael Jordan.
“What would happen?” Kobe Bryant was further probed on the possible outcome of his one-on-one contest with Michael Jordan.
“I’m not sure, but he would win some and I would win some in a seven-game series,” said Kobe Bryant. “It would probably come down to the last few shots.”
And as far as it goes to how Kobe Bryant would grade himself against the Miami Heat’s versatile forward LeBron James, the Black Mamba sees himself winning this matchup on one-on-one too.
“Me. No question. As far as one-on-one, I’m the best to ever do it,” said Kobe Bryant. “LeBron is a terrific all-around, five-on-five basketball player who’s an all-time great. But I’d get him.”
But there is one player Kobe Bryant sees giving him a hard time in a one-on-one setup, and that is Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant.
“Kevin Durant is the guy that would give me the most trouble,” stated Kobe Bryant. “With his length and ability to use the dribble, he’d be tough.”
But Kobe Bryant wasn’t done yet, he let the cat out of the bag when asked about going one-on-one against Tracy McGrady.
“When I was about 20, we were in Germany doing some promotional stuff for that other sneaker company and we played basketball every day. We were in the gym all the time,” said Kobe Bryant. “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.”
Kobe Bryant continued naming the other battles he’d won one-on-one.
“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,” said Kobe Bryant. “When I was a rookie I used to get Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones. They used to come at me hard but I wasn’t having that.”