Kobe Bryant was voted in as a starter for the All-Star game in Toronto this weekend, and it will be his final time competing in the event. The 19 year veteran wing will retire at the end of the 2015-16 season, and he has mostly looked his age this year. Kobe has had difficulties this year, shooting a career-low 34.9 percent from the field and 28 percent from three-point range.
Apparently Bryant has struggled enough that the West All-Stars head coach, Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, thought he had a shot to stay in front of the soon to retire star. During the West's practice on Saturday morning, the 67-year old future Hall of Famer sidled over and got in a defensive crouch in front the 37-year old one, and Kobe was ready for the challenge. The resulting video is pretty fantastic, and might be the best thing to come out of All-Star Saturday:
Solid defensive stance from Pop, but once Bryant used his first step to get around him, the legendary coach had no shot. Kobe showed some veteran savvy in using his body to protect the ball from the league's longest tenured head coach. Who says the Lakers-Spurs rivalry is dead?
But the practice fun didn't stop there. Later, Popovich interrupted Bryant's interview with Craig Sager of TNT to make him get back to practice, because All-Star practice is serious business:
Just two NBA legends, hamming it up together on All-Star weekend for potentially the last time.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.