Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving took home the 2011-2012 Rookie of the Year award after a solid inaugural season, averaging 18.5 ppg, 5.4 apg and 3.7 rpg while shooting .469 from the field and an impressive .399 from three-point range. So the kid can play.
Recently after a USA basketball session in Vegas Irving, who is a member of the USA Select team that scrimmages against the senior squad, challenged future HOFer Kobe Bryant to a game of 1-on-1, with $50,000 on the line for charity. Watch here, courtesy of DukeBluePlanet‘s Youtube account:
Irving’s confidence is admirable, to say the least. Fact of the matter is, even at 34 Kobe still one of the top individual players in the NBA with the ability to create his own shot in a wide variety of ways. Bryant is also 6’6″ whereas Irving is only 6’2″, so Kobe has another advantage there as well.
In due time Irving will be one of the top players in the NBA, but challenging Kobe 1-on-1 on a bit ambitious for a 20-year old who just finished his rookie season. But as the saying goes, to be the man you have to beat the man, so I can respect Irving’s challenge.