WATCH: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant Once Tested Each Other’s Limits in a Team USA Scrimmage Battle

Published 08/20/2021, 7:17 AM EDT
14 August 2008, Beijing, China — NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James of the U.S. looks on from the bench during the Beijing 2008 Olympics Games. Photo by Victor Fraile — Image by © Victor Fraile/Corbis (Photo by Victor Fraile/Corbis via Getty Images)


NBA in 2000s saw many big names emerge as superstars. From Tim Duncan to Kevin Garnett everyone was at their top of the game. But two names stood out from the rest of the pack LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

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Often being seen as the heir to Michael Jordan‘s throne, Kobe and LeBron arguably were the best players in the league. Carrying their respective teams to success, the two showed an incredible level of talent and leadership.

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When LeBron James and Kobe Bryant went blow for blow in USA scrimmage

Team USA is arguably the most dominant team in the world of basketball. Often featuring the best players in the world, USA is expected to be crowned as champions in any competition they play. After winning three consecutive Olympic gold medals, the 2004 team was expected to continue the streak.

But Argentina shocked Team USA led by the likes of Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan and Iverson and Co. settled for a bronze medal. Team USA had a score to settle and were determined to bring their gold medal back home.

This led to the formation of the redeem team featuring the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But before going into the Olympics, the team put in the work and often had scrimmages against one another.

One such matchup was in the off-season of 2007. The roster was divided into two teams, Team Blue and Team White. Team Blue had the likes of Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony while Team White had the likes of LeBron James and Jason Kidd.

It was a battle from the very first minute of the game. Team White took a commanding lead in the game as they took a 11-point lead at the end of the first half. But they couldn’t build on the lead as Kobe and Co. stayed close. Despite Bron and Co. leading the game 99-89 with 5:10 left on the clock, team Blue’s Kevin Durant scored 5 straight points and closed the lead.

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Kobe then stepped up to close out the game. First ‘Black Mamba‘ tied the scoreline 101-101 with a three pointer. Then he eventually hit a mid-range jumper to give a 103-102 lead. While J-Kidd snatched back the lead for team White, Kobe had the second last possession of the game. Scoring a mid-range at the top of the key, team Kobe and Co. took a 105-104 lead.

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While LeBron James had a chance to ice the game floater fell short and team Kobe finally won the game. This was truly a battle for the ages and arguably one of the most iconic battles between the duo.

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Aditya Mohapatra

1177 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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