Kobe Bryant spent 20 years in the NBA and had an amazing career in the league. Apart from establishing himself as one of the greatest players in the history of the league, Kobe also earned a reputation of being incredibly competitive during his career.
The reason why he was so competitive was due to his sheer will to be the best player ever to play in the NBA. For many fans, he certainly accomplished that goal.
Speaking of Bryant's game, one of his top skills was embarrassing guys in one-on-one situations. He was very vocal about being the best one-on-one player ever and claimed to defeat numerous NBA stars.
Even one of his biggest rivals, Tracy McGrady, was impressed with the skills that the Mamba possessed. He has openly admitted that Kobe was the most skilled basketball player to ever play in the NBA.
But who would win in a one-on-one match between T-Mac and Bryant? Well, in an old interview, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar himself confirmed that he had defeated T-Mac in one-on-one games in an embarrassing manner.
"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 every day. 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."
In the same interview, Kobe also claimed that he would easily defeat LeBron James. That's not all, Bryant also made the same claim about another amazing one-on-one player. Yes, Kobe said he could easily beat Kyrie Irving as well.
Anyway, coming back to the T-Mac vs. Kobe Bryant matchup. While the Lakers legend said he had defeated McGrady, the latter denied playing a one-on-one game.
(Starts at 2:16):
Tracy McGrady: "We didn't play one-on-one. We wasn't keeping score. So what we were doing, we were working on our footwork on the post. We were working out individually. And we were working on our stuff on the post. We wasn’t keeping score.”
Kobe Bryant: "If somebody is playing a workout and if the person scores, they keep the ball, what is that?"
Tracy McGrady: "We wasn't keeping score. ... He was keeping score. I wasn't keeping score."
Kobe Bryant: "11-3"
Tracy McGrady: "What? I don't remember that."
Kobe Bryant: "I'm not gonna pull up numbers out of thin air, I remember specifically."
Tracy McGrady: "You can’t believe the guy that doesn’t even know the location where we were playing at."
It was a hilarious exchange between the two former superstars. While Kobe was adamant that he defeated T-Mac by a score of 11-3, McGrady doesn't even remember that.
This interview shows how competitive Kobe actually was. As he remembered a stat from more than two decades ago just to prove that he was a better player than T-Mac.