Kyrie Irving is heading to the Olympics in Rio this summer after winning an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but a memorable encounter with Kobe Bryant during the 2012 games is still stealing the headlines.
During a Team USA workout in Las Vegas, Irving—who had just been drafted by the Cavaliers—started talking trash to Kobe and told him that he could beat him in a game of 1-on-1.
He also told the Black Mamba that he would gladly put up $50,000 for the game, such was his confidence that he could beat one of the best shooting guards in this history of the game.
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Unfortunately, for some reason, the battle never went down. But, it still made for a memorable moment and there is little doubt that Kobe respected the young gun for his confidence and determination; two traits the Lakers legend built his career on.
Irving told NBA.com: "It’s just unbelievable to even realize how far we’ve all come in that short of time. Being a young kid in 2012, challenging one of the best players to ever play the game, thinking about his mentorship of me now and me being able to grow as a basketball player and a man, there’s nothing like it.
"I still want the 1-on-1 game, and I know that if I texted him right now and I said, ‘Come to Vegas,’ and we had this same bet on the line, I don’t know what he would say but I know he would have some words for me."
Knowing Kobe's legendary mouth, there's little doubt that Irving is spot on. Who will be the next young upstart to try their luck?