There’s no hotter name in the basketball world right now than the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving. “Uncle Drew” is the only player in the association with multiple 50-point games this season. There’s no question that Kyrie is a household name to even the most casual of fans. With that being said, we take you back to a time when Kyrie was a brash kid who had “some nerve” barking up the tree that is Kobe Bryant’s aura/legacy.
During the summer of 2012, Kyrie was one of the lucky future stars invited to be apart of the Team USA Select Team that would workout with and scrimmage against the USA Men’s Olympic Basketball Team. After one such workout, Kyrie challenged the wily veteran Bryant to a game of 1-on-1. Kobe balked at the challenge and even raised the stakes to a $50,000 bet that Kyrie would have to pay to his charity. The trash talk between the two has fueled some great duels since then. However, as Kobe’s career has been marred by injury and nightmarish seasons for the Laker faithful since, Kyrie’s ceiling has only grown higher and higher. Kobe called Kyrie’s challenge EASY MONEY… Unbeknownst to Kobe however, he may have lit an insanely hot fire in Kyrie that has yet to be diffused. Kyrie is playing meaningful basketball this late in the season for the first time in his professional career (thanks to a certain King James). It should be uber exciting to see what Kyrie Irving has for an encore as the playoffs await.
As Kobe was ribbing Kyrie for even having the audacity to challenge him, he mentioned that Irving’s confidence would force Kobe to drop 50 on the Cavs the next time they were to play. Kobe dropped 42 in a loss to the Cavs, but it was clear as day that Kyrie had earned the respect of the Mamba. Kyrie’s recent 57-point explosion against the defending champion Spurs has further cemented the bond between these two once-in-a-generation talents. Kyrie is the first player since Kobe Bryant with multiple 50 Point games in the same season. He even went as far as to thank Kobe for his shooting explosion.