In the ongoing 2023 FIBA World Cup, Team USA’s journey continues, with Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves playing a pivotal role in the young squad’s performance. As we witness the excitement of their progress, we’ve been treated to exclusive footage from past US squads, shedding light on some unforgettable moments.
Not too long ago, a viral exchange emerged, offering a glimpse into the fierce competitiveness that drives Team USA players. This exchange involved basketball legends Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant, both engaged in a spirited practice session. The clip captured the essence of their rivalry as Westbrook celebrated after scoring on Bryant. For Lakers fans, this interaction was a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Black Mamba, a spirit he carried throughout his remarkable 20-year career with the Lakers.
Netflix’s documentary ‘Redeem Team’ beautifully captured how Kobe Bryant’s presence transcended the team, rejuvenating their winning spirit. His mere presence on the roster motivated his superstar teammates, pushing them to work harder every day in pursuit of that coveted gold medal.
Among those inspired by Bryant was none other than LeBron James, who was on the verge of establishing himself as a basketball force in 2008. James eagerly accepted the opportunity to represent the US once again. Looking back, it’s remarkable to think that although James and Bryant never shared an NBA court, they joined forces on the international stage.
However, during the 2008 gold medal game against Spain, LeBron James appeared to take charge. The superstar small forward didn’t hesitate to communicate with Bryant when he took some questionable shots, encouraging him to attack the basket instead.
The footage of these two basketball titans competing together is a treasure trove for fans, showcasing how their rivalry and mutual determination brought out the best in each other.