After going down 3-1 in this year’s NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers managed to defy the odds and capture the city’s first professional title in over a half century.
Aside from an all-time performance from Lebron James, it was Kyrie Irving who came through in the clutch with a step-back three-pointer over Stephen Curry to put the Cavs up for good. After the game Irving not only credited the ‘Mamba Mentality’ in helping him nail one of the biggest shots in Finals history, he also had the chance to talk to Kobe Bryant himself after the game according to Jefferey Eisenband of ThePostGame.com.
“I actually FaceTimed Kobe after the game as soon as I got in the locker room,” Irving says. “Other than seeing my dad and my sister right after we won, FaceTiming him was just a great thing, knowing how he has won five and I just won my first. Then realizing how hard it is to just win one, my respect for him was already high, but it went to another level knowing that he’s got five of them. I’m trying to get a second one.”
Many remember the Kobe-Kyrie dynamic during the Team USA training sessions when Kobe replied to Irving’s 1-on-1 request as ‘easy money.’ Although it was highly unlikely Irving would’ve stood a chance against Kobe as we saw in their match up the following season, it showed the kind of confidence a young Irving had.
Confidence that would propel him to take that shot over the two-time MVP, to earn his first championship just a few years later.