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Kobe Bryant gets two blocks on LeBron James late in 2013 NBA All-Star game (VIDEO)

Feb 18, 2013, 1:13 AM EDT

HOUSTON — The All-Star game was a competitive one down the stretch, and not surprisingly, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James were the ones competing hardest, and doing so against one another with the contest hanging in the balance.

Bryant got the best of James on two possessions, twice blocking the shot of the reigning league MVP in the game’s final three minutes.

The first one was the most impressive. James seemed to think that Bryant got caught on the screen from Chris Bosh, and pulled up for a 20-foot jump shot once he dribbled past him.

But Bryant came from the side and was able to cleanly block James as he went up, and Kevin Durant picked up the pieces and turned them into an uncontested dunk that put the West up 10 with two and a half minutes to play in the game.

Durant was sincerely impressed.

“I don’t know,” Durant said, when asked when was the last time he saw James get one of his jump shots blocked. “It was a great block. I haven’t really seen any MVP get a jumper blocked like that. It was a really great play. Kobe is a great player.”

Bryant was asked about his competitive nature in locking up LeBron late, but anyone who’s paid any attention to how Kobe operates should already know the answer.

“Well, I mean, just taking the challenge and defending a little bit,” he said. “[The game] gets close, it’s just … It’s fun. I enjoy it.”

It appeared that some friendly words were exchanged between Bryant and James, but Kobe refused to classify it as trash talk.

“Me? Trash talk? Never,” Bryant said with a huge smile. “Never. I don’t do that. I’m a nice guy.”

Alright, then what exactly was LeBron’s reaction to those two plays?

“He didn’t really say much,” Bryant said. “He said I fouled him, and then I said well yeah, I pretty much foul every play. I’m an 80s baby, you know what I mean? That’s what we do.”

James didn’t seem to have any ill will about the way things went down afterward. But at the same time, he wasn’t at all surprised by Bryant’s motivation to give everything he had defensively to try to help his team win, while personally taking on the responsibility of stopping the game’s best player in the process.

“I am absolutely not surprised,” James said. “It was all in good spirit. It was just two guys who love to compete, love to go at it. It was a lot of fun.”

  1. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    you know whats really sad? that the people who are mad at kobe for playing hard see absolutely nothing wrong with watching a game where nobody plays hard, ever. the NBA is hard enough to watch on a nightly basis and the all-star game is the bottom of the barrel. and you guys are mad at a professional athlete who is paid more than any one of us will ever make in our lives… for playing hard. i just don’t get it. at all. have fun with your lives.

    • WatchThis - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      I think they just want everyone to play hard. But, listen, it’s easy to surprise a guy when you’re the only one playing hard, or you’re playing hard only for certain key plays like this ONE (the 2nd being a foul). Lebron obviously wasn’t playing MVP ball out there, so it really doesn’t mean much. I have no issue with someone playing hard the whole time or doing what Kobe did as some kind of joke against the King.

    • chicitybulls - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      You dont seem to like the NBA. Ok. I get it. But calling the all star game the “bottom of the barrel”? It’s not worse than, oh I dont know, the joke they call the pro bowl. The game they always threaten to cancel because nobody is playing hard or competing at all. Guess you forgot about that one. And please dont say it was a good or close game this year. After last year anything would have been an improvement.

  2. Great Caesar's Ghost - Feb 18, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Facts are facts.

    Kobe > LeBron.

    5 > 1.

    Real Championships > Asterisks.

    • cullenand99 - Feb 18, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      Championships are team accomplishments, not individual accomplishments. Anyone who uses the “more rings equals better player” excuse is lacking in the basketball knowledge department.

  3. imthedudedude - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Horry > Kobe

    7 > 6
    Hey facts are facts right??

    • cantonbound13 - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      Horry has hit more game winners than LeBron. That’s a fact, Heat fans will call it “hate”. Heat fans can’t understand the difference between stating facts & hate.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        As the King of Hate, I believe you know what yer talking about.

      • skids003 - Feb 18, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        I’ve read your MSNBC posts, jimeejohnson, I think you win that award.

  4. Nostrils10 - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    HAHAH yeahhh… no one plays D and it’s wrong for Kobe to block his shot (twice) in an All-Star Game..

    but I surely rememeber Lebron trying to chase Kobe down on a fast break and do his classic block…. but kobe just banged on him!!! but I guess that was wrong too…

    hahah… it’s funny how defensive people get… DORKS

  5. bigbenh8tr - Feb 18, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    80s baby = oldschool

  6. southbeachtalent - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    So it’s safe to say LA belongs to the Clippers! Thought I’d never see the day…

    • cosanostra71 - Feb 18, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      Take a walk around LA, see how many people are wearing Lakers gear vs. Clippers gear and tell me if you still believe that.

    • mytthor - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:36 AM

      It is absolutely still a Laker town. Jerry Buss > Donald Sterling is the reason.

  7. thechock305 - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Wow people really hate LeBron. It’s easy to say 5 rings to 1 if both their careers were finished. Let’s just see how many LeBron has when he’s 34. It might not be 5 but he’ll have a few and he will go down as one of the BEST PLAYERS IN NBA HISTORY. Period. Not the best. Jordan will still be that but when it’s all said & done, he’ll be an ALL-TIME top 5 player and all you lifeless, sad, no girlfriend having haters will be well… Sadder.

  8. miamatt - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Well played by Kobe, no doubt this will be the highlight of his year.

    Of course, there were two games- games that actually counted- in which Kobe had an opportunity to let his game do the talking against LeBron. If memory serves, they were both games that the Lakers desperately needed. How’d that work out?

    *crickets chirping*

    • mytthor - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:38 AM

      Can’t lay those losses at Kobe’s feet.

  9. baymac408 - Feb 18, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Kobe is wack!! Fouled Lebron the whole time!! Kobe and Dwight were just trying to fit in.. They did not belong at the allstar game!! They are both little girls.. Cry for everything and b**ch more then a stupid reality show! Kobe is garbage and doesn’t deserve to have his talent.. What a waste.. But then he’s a Laker that explains it all!!

  10. ss3walkman - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    I’m not a big fan of either. I look at it like this, the entire last week the world has been talking the Michael Jordan comment. He said Bron was the most dominant now but said he would take Kobe cause he has 5 compared to Bron’s one. The media only focused on the picking Kobe part, not acknowledging Jordan saying Bron was the most dominant. Either way, with the whole media building this thing up, when it came down to it, we seen what we seen. It will go down as it looked, that Bron couldn’t handle Kobe in the spotlight of the world. Regardless of anyone’s thoughts, that’s what it looked like and the media is going to milk this thing dry.

    But in fairness, if it were reversed the excuse would be Kobe is older and towards the end of his career while Bron is in his prime. Sucks for Bron that its like that.

  11. losanginsight - Feb 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    MJ said it. Kobe proved it.. too bad the refs didn’t bail out scott pippen jr… again.
    16x World Champ Lakers
    RIP Jerry Buss. the Greatest Ever

    • digitalpoo - Feb 18, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      You’ll have to enlighten me. Do your hashtags actually do anything on this blog?

  12. asublimeday - Feb 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    So how many games are the lakers out of the play-offs now? Ohhh that’s right those blocks don’t even really count.

    Big Stage?? All Star game??? wow, well I guess it’s something the haters can grasp on too. As usual, pathetic..


    Not nearly as pathetic as a grown man with the inability to differentiate between “to” and “too”.

    Night school, bro. Get that GED.

    • mytthor - Feb 19, 2013 at 12:41 AM

      I count 10 grammatical, spelling, and/or punctuation errors in your post.

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