Friend of Kobe Bryant before he tragically disappeared, LeBron James could therefore claim to know him well. And yet, the legend of the Lakers stunned him with a wild move, on which Evan Fournier has just fallen!
By their common nature as competitors, they would have liked to face each other in the NBA Finals, for what would have been one of the biggest duels of the contemporary era of the NBA. Failing to achieve this, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have developed a great friendship over the years. This did not, however, allow the King to acclimatize to the unique mentality of his illustrious elder, who shocked him more than once.
LeBron and Team USA dumbfounded by Kobe, Fournier too
In a trailer for the documentary The Redeem Team from Netflix, members of Team USA returned to Kobe’s approach to the shock against Spain by a certain Pau Gasol, during the 2008 Olympics. After visiting him at the Olympic Village, and having shared his his affection for him in the media, the Mamba had a very specific plan in mind regarding his great Iberian friend, as told by LBJ and Dwyane Wade:
In 2004, the US Olympic Men’s Basketball team lost the gold and sought redemption in Beijing 2008. @KingJames, @DwyaneWade, and Kobe Bryant led The Redeem Team. This is that story. #TUDUM pic.twitter.com/95MCsOQ6h3
—Netflix (@netflix) September 24, 2022
James : Kobe said he was going to set the tone from the start of the game. And he said, « I’m going to stab Pau’s fucking chest. » « Dude, you’re kidding. He’s your teammate, you’re kidding. You’re still not going to do that. »
D-Wade: He said: “I know what system they are going to put in place on the first action of the match. He knew Pau was going to put down the last screen, and he said, « I’m going to stab that asshole. » »
James : And I swear to you that on the first action… We were like, “Holy sh*t!”
As can be seen on the rest of the extract, Kobe has indeed honored his word… by smashing his Lakers teammate when crossing his screen. A scene that stunned LeBron, all of Team USA and Pau himself, but not only. On Twitter, Evan Fournier was also impressed, and considers this sequence as gold bar for basketball trainers:
🐐. To show in basketball schools https://t.co/BEiVsKkIk3
— Evan Fournier (@EvanFourmizz) September 25, 2022
Kobe Bryant had one word on his mind in the summer of 2008, and it was redemption. Therefore, it was better not to get in his way, even when your name was Pau Gasol. The Spanish pivot quickly understood it, just like LeBron James!