Kyrie Irving’s quest to win the Internet continued on Thursday. A couple months removed from dressing up as an old man and hustling dudes in pickup games, Irving came back to YouTube yesterday — this time challenging Kobe Bryant to a $50,000 game of one-on-one after a Team USA training session. Word out of Vegas is that Irving has torn it up in scrimmages against the Olympic squad. That makes sense. I’m not sure what other sort of feat could inspire this much chutzpah. The back-and-forth was so good that we decided to bring you the five best moments.
5. “Son, are you crazy?”
Kobe: “Get [your dad] on the phone right now. Be like, ‘Pops, I’m trying to bet Kob’ 50 grand I can beat him one-on-one. He’ll be like, ‘Son, are you crazy? Are you crazy?’”
The best part here is that the Mamba can relate more to Kyrie’s dad than he can to Kyrie.
4. “Y’all about the same size!”
Kyrie: “You think you’re gonna be playin’ Lil’ Bow Wow?”
Kobe: “Y’all about the same size!”
This is just plain disrespectful, mostly to Bow Wow. He dropped the “Lil’” when Kyrie was still knee-high to a duck.
3. “Never. Never. Never.”
It’s hard to get this one without hearing Kobe’s inflection, but it’s the one instance where his true feelings about this whole situation show through. When Kyrie suggests that Kobe would need some help in checking him in the same way Kyrie would need a hand guarding Kobe, the tone in Kobe’s response is utter disgust. It makes me glad this is happening in 2012 as opposed to 2004. I’m fairly certain the same challenge back then would’ve ended with Kyrie disemboweled on the court.
2. “You’re not gonna lock me up.”
Following Kobe’s invocation of Kyrie’s pops, the young fella’s response is that, in his old age, Kobe just can’t check him.
Kyrie: “You have to guard!”
Kyrie: “You’re not gonna lock me up.”
Kobe: “Are you serious?”
This is the moment where it’s hard not to be impressed with how sure this dude is of himself. It doesn’t even feel like he’s putting on here. He really doesn’t think Kobe can stop him, and honestly, whether or not he can probably doesn’t matter.
1. “You just came out of high school, kid!”
Kyrie: “He thinks he’s talking to a high school kid!”
Kobe: “You just came out of high school, kid!”
Ha … Kobe.