The late NBA legend Kobe Bryant was one of the best players to ever play in the NBA. Despite being the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, Bryant went on to become a great player. Usually, when a player is a late lottery pick, there aren't huge expectations of him.
Most expect those players to fulfill the role of a support player for a long time in the league. But Kobe was different, and he honed his skills by training his craft each and every day for his entire career to stand out among his peers.
One of the best qualities that he possessed was being incredibly skilled at defeating players 1-on-1. There are many instances from his career when he left his opponent gasping after defeat in a 1-on-1 battle.
Knowing that, back in 2013, Chris Palmer asked the Mamba about his thoughts on who would win in a 1-on-1 battle between him and LeBron James. Bryant declared that he would win it because he was the best ever to do it.
"Me. No question. As far as one-on-one, I’m the best to ever do it. LeBron is a terrific all-around, five-on-five basketball player who’s an all-time great. But I’d get him."
Kobe added, "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."
As Bryant mentioned in that conversation, LeBron James is a phenomenal all-around player, but when it comes to playing 1-on-1, there aren't many that can outplay Kobe.
This wasn't the first time that Kobe answered the question about defeating LeBron in a 1-on-1 battler. In fact, three years before the above-mentioned ESPN interview, Kobe said he could defeat LeBron in a 1-on-1 game in his sleep.
By the way, have you ever wondered who would win in a 2-on-2 battle between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James & Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen? The results can surprise you.
Anyway, it's the confidence that Kobe possesses which made him so dangerous to face. On any given night, he believed that there was one player better than him on the court and, more often than not, Kobe proved that to be right.