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LeBron James shared a fantastic memory about Kobe Bryant's insane competitiveness

NBA Star Kobe Bryant to Retire at End of Season


With Kobe Bryant announcing on Sunday that he plans to retire after the season, many NBA players have spoken out praising both the talent and competitiveness that has come to define Bryant over the years.

One such player was LeBron James, who spoke at length about Bryant, citing numerous stats and individual moments from Bryant's illustrious career.

Either James or Bryant has appeared in every NBA Finals since 2007, and James even jokingly apologized for not holding up his end of the bargain in 2009, when the Cavs won a franchise-high 66 games but failed to reach the Finals, where they would have met Bryant and the Lakers.

But of the many anecdotes James shared about Bryant, one in particular best illustrates Bryant's competitive spirit.

At the 2008 Olympics, Team USA played rival Spain in a preliminary group game, and just a few possessions into the game, Bryant ran straight through his Lakers teammate Pau Gasol on a pick, sending the 7-foot Spaniard to the ground and earning Bryant a flagrant.

Here's how James remembered it, via Cleveland.com:

Here's the play:

James also recalled another play from the same Olympics, also against Spain but in the Gold Medal game. The teams were trading baskets down the stretch when Bryant completely took over. He scored 20 points in total, but it was a key four-point play that effectively sealed the Gold for the U.S.

Here's James on the game:

Here's footage from that play, too:


Doug Collins summed it up perfectly on the television broadcast immediately after he hit the shot: "Is there anybody in the NBA who loves these moments more than Kobe Bryant?"

NOW WATCH: This is the single most iconic moment of Kobe Bryant's career

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