‘I Got Into Trouble’: Baron Davis Opens Up on Playing One-on-One Against Kobe Bryant in College

Published 06/10/2021, 6:33 AM EDT
Boston, Massachusettes–June 17, 2008 Lakers Kobe Bryant walks off the court as the Celtics celebrate the championship in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the TD Banknorth Center Tuesday. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Even though Kobe Bryant passed away too soon, there are many stories about how competitive he was. The ‘Black Mamba’ was one of the most exciting players the league has ever seen. Bryant’s intangibles are legendary as he never wanted to lose a game. However, the tragedy which resulted in him passing away was shocking. Fans and players could not believe what had happened. But the competitive nature of Kobe will live on forever.

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In a recent interview, Baron Davis spoke about the mental toughness of the Mamba. Davis remembered the time when he had a one-on-one match with Bryant.

Baron Davis’ one-on-one with Kobe Bryant

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During his time with UCLA, Baron Davis developed into one of the most feared guards in the college division. He shared an interesting story that happened during the NBA lockout where he got hurt with an ankle injury and challenged Kobe Bryant for a duel.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 14: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers waves to the crowd after passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list with a free throw in the second quarter of the game on December 14, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

“We got into a nice little heated one-on-one game and the UCLA team actually stopped practice and they was watching this one and that’s how I got into trouble, that’s how I got caught and my coach was like get back over here… You know Kobe’s competitive,” said Davis.

The passion with which Davis talks about Kobe is there for everyone to see. Bryant loved the game of basketball and never shied away from a challenge. He had the same mentality on the court as well.

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Bryant was a born-winner

While there are no doubts about Kobe’s competitive spirit, having the offensive skill set to go with it was exemplary. The playoffs are the time when players elevate their game to the next level. The legendary performances of Kobe were there for everyone to see. During the playoffs, Kobe scored 25.6 points per game in his entire career.

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Those numbers are impressive even for a regular season. But to produce the goods when they mattered during critical moments takes hard work and commitment to the cause.

The desire to get to the basket and to fend off defenders inside the paint will always be Kobe’s trademark.

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Bryant ate basketball for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Shades of Michael Jordan are clear for everyone to see because of the competitive spirit he possessed. In conclusion, Kobe Bryant’s exploits on and off the court will never be forgotten.

WATCH THIS STORY- Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Other NBA Stars in Their Childhood

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Jacob Gijy

408 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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