You may want to sit down. We might have another earth-shattering sports hoax to deal with.
Kobe said he's the best ever at one-on-one in a recent interview. And as a way to illustrate it, he mentioned that he beat McGrady in a one-on-one game early in their careers during a promotional tour in Germany.
Here's what Kobe said:
"I played T-Mac. I cooked him. Roasted him. Wasn't even close. Ask him, he'll tell you. When I was about 20, we were in Germany doing some promotional stuff for that other sneaker company, and we played basketball every day. We were in the gym all the time. We played three games of one-on-one to 11. I won all three games. One game I won 11-2. After the third game he said he had back spasms and couldn't play anymore."
Take special note that Kobe said, "ask him, he'll tell you." Well, someone did ask McGrady, via Twitter.
@mheatfan631 LOL Hell no! That's far from the truth. No one in the NBA is playing 1 on 1. Me and KB never went to Germany together either.— Tracy McGrady (@Real_T_Mac) January 18, 2013
So... someone is lying here. Seems like a pretty weird, detailed lie for Kobe to make up, and one easily refuted if it wasn't true. McGrady obviously has more at stake here and more reason to deny it happened. Doesn't mean he's not telling the truth, though.
What's the real story here? For some reason, I doubt we'll ever know.
(Also, can I just say, what's the fascination with one-on-one anyway? Who actually plays one-on-one? And what does that even settle? That doesn't determine who the better player is, so why do we care? Kobe apparently does, but I digress.)