One of the most exciting duels between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James didn’t happen in the NBA Playoffs or during a Christmas day game but in Vegas, during a 2007 Team USA basketball scrimmage.
LeBron scored 18 points and had the highlight of the game, when he blocked a reverse dunk attempt by Kobe (4:48 mark). But it was The Black Mamba who walked away with the Player of the Game honors after scoring 26 points (seven in the final two minutes) and knocking down what turned out to be the game winning shot over Tayshaun Prince with 6.6 seconds left in regulation. Down by one, LeBron went one-on-one with Kobe and tried to answer but missed a shot at the buzzer.
Kobe’s clutch offense and defense made up for his lack of knowledge of international rules that almost cost his team the game: With 21.3 seconds left, Kobe tried to call a timeout, not knowing under international rules, only a coach can call a timeout. After the game, Bryant said he wasn’t trying to call a timeout and that the “T” he made was to tell the refs they should call a technical on Jason Kidd for elbowing him in the stomach “like it was a game from the 80s.”
Thanks to GD for another great vid.