Speaking at a Nike-sponsored event to something called the London School of Basketball, Kobe Bryant was asked who would win if he played one-on-one against LeBron James:
"I would. I would. That's what I do. One-on-one, that's easy. Playing one-on-one, that's how I grew up. That's like my thing."
For the record, my thing is throwing grapes really high in the air and catching them in my mouth, but I digress. Lest anyone think Kobe lobbed a flaming ball of smack over the Atlantic toward south Florida, he offers a reasonable explanation, one connecting LBJ to a fairly decent player in the process:
"Lebron is more like a Magic Johnson. He's a great passer, and plays an all-around game. At the core of me, I'm a one-on-one player. I can do that in my sleep."
No question, Kobe has far more refined skills than James, whether you're talking about footwork, post moves, or variety of jumpers. The only question would be size -- would LeBron's keep Kobe out of the paint defensively, and allow him greater access on drives when he has the ball? I'd put my money on Kobe, but more important would pay money to watch. A lot of money. I'm not the first guy to suggest this, but how much better would All-Star weekend be if they swapped out the dunk contest -- at this point an incredibly lackluster event -- with a one-on-one tourney?
One including a few of the planet's greatest players, perhaps? We're talking about something infinitely more buzz-worthy than the All-Star Game itself.
It'll never happen, but we can dream, can't we?
(Thanks to www.hoopsfix.com for the heads up.)