Kyrie Irving has revealed some interesting details about the first time he challenged his mentor, Kobe Bryant. These two had a deep bond and you can say all started when the then Cleveland Cavaliers player dared to challenge the Lakers superstar when he was still a rookie. Yikes.
After winning the ROY award with the Cavs, Kyrie attended the US basketball team practice decided to challenge Kobe.
“I walk over there and my heart’s pounding, bro. I don’t know why. And I’m like, I’m about to go talk with Kobe. I’m like, honestly, I’d beat you, one-on-one bro. And I practiced the line in my head. Like when I get the chance Kobe, I could beat you one-on-one,” Irving told on ‘The ETCs with Kevin Durant‘.
“I practiced in the mirror before I got there,” he added.
“I’m going to go straight up like Kobe, man. Like I could beat you one-on-one. Honestly we should get this one on one game. Honestly I think you can’t guard me. I kind of went off-script. And then Duke Blue Planet [from the university] was right there and they just captured the whole thing, the exchange.”
The best part of it was Kobe's reaction to the kid actually going after him and challenging him to a one-on-one game when he was just a rookie. It was priceless, as Irving recalled.
“He (Kobe) was like ‘man, this mother——, this little kid Kyrie, he has the nerve to come up and talk to me?'”
“Mind you in any other situation, Kobe would’ve just strapped up his shoes, but I think he also had a mutual respect for me at that point early on in my life where it was like you know, $50,000 next year, let’s do it. We never got a chance to play, but after that point, I just studied him a lot more. My respect grew.”
Even though that game never took place, we had the chance to see Kobe and Kyrie battling it out on the NBA courts throughout their careers. Those duels were always interesting and with both players taunting each other whenever they clashed.